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Should employee loyalty be over ?

With so much companies re-organizations and forced layoffs, should employees still aspire to long careers within a same organization ? what should be the new mindset ? Where will the inspiration be ? In the organization values and mission or the individual's ?

Closing Statement from fernando quinones

As final answer, I conclude that the recent economic situation, is currently revealing a dilema in the reality of for profit corporations. Such, impacting the sensitive line, that employees are the best asset and they should do their best to retain them. The world changed. Employers now only retain as long as you produce immediate results. On the other side, employees, having lived through employers recent actions, are shifting mindsets from lifelong careers to transitory status, making them receptive to changing jobs that align to new opportunities and better treatment. Both sides seem to be moving on opposite directions, which lead to believe that the labor scenario will soon be faced by a serious challenge to synchronize both. In the meantime, the sense of job security and employees passion for an employer is quickly vanishing, only to expect that overall performance and results will eventually be seriously impacted. Employers need to urgently lead, in defining the future employer-employee relationship. This, towards attracting and retaining talent while maximizing efforts and results. Re-balancing the overall happiness and satisfaction levels of both employers and employees is a must. Whoever company surfaces to lead on this, will be delivering a sound contribution for businesses, that will allow for employers-employees to soon evolve from the current difficult economic times.

  • Oct 3 2012: Employee/Employer loyalty is a two way street. At the lowest level, both are loyal to each other for the duration between paychecks. At levels higher than that, it is sort of an on-going risk vs rewards situation. From an employee's perspective, an employer investing in some benefit is a way of keeping making one work offer more attractive than another at the same base pay. From an employer's perspective, overhead costs such as training, HR expenses can be reduced in the short term and employee knowledge of product and process unique to one employer can improve production. This potential is a way for good businesses relate employee investment to a business payback. Long-term careers have their advantages, but there are risks, hard-ships, and investments on both sides. The relationship should always be considered a negotiation and both sides should always be aware of the true value of the skill set or benefits package being negotiated.

    Good employers will realize the business potential value of hiring and retaining good quality employees. Good employees will realize that a business's primary purpose is to make money, not provide employee benefits. If loyalty is important to an employer, it should be rewarded. If loyalty is important to an employee, it should be considered when evaluating work packages.

    Change in benefits over the course of a term of employment is a risk that needs to be considered by a perspective employee. An employee's evaluation of a job offer might include an evaluation of company stability and history of preserving worker benefits during times of struggle. An employer is bound only by law. Anything above and beyond the law given as a benefit is a business decision.

    Plan accordingly.
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    Oct 2 2012: My mindset of the last 20 years has been mercenary...My boss knows that and does his best to keep me happy as I am fairly good at what I do and am consistent as well..
    With corporations ducking ALL responsibilities (including contractual (see the discharged pension debts for airline employees etc.) I don't see that we, as individuals, owe them ANYTHING that they haven't paid for (preferably in advance).
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    Oct 2 2012: Companies simply don't care for their staff anymore and largely only provide the basic minimum of whats legally obligated.
    Loyalty (like respect) has to be earned and that simply isn't being met in most companies. Especially in a recession when employees are widely available.
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    Oct 2 2012: I don't see this so much as a matter of loyalty. In modern economies it is prudent not to expect businesses to need the same skill sets from employees over multiple decades.

    With businesses competing against each other, if they retain employees over the long haul that do not have the skill sets the business needs, that cost needs to be passed along at least in part in higher prices of products and services. Then businesses that do not carry that extra cost burden can undercut the inflated price and draw business away from the firm that retains employees whose services are no longer needed by the firm.
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      Oct 2 2012: In modern economies, workers get transfered around, so that five businesses can take advantage of their 30 years expertise in the same field... but no one has to pay them pensions or retirement benefits. Standards of living have declined dramatically... So employers no longer deserve any sense of loyalty... If you stay with them for more than a year or two, you'll be "overpaid", and expect things like raises and profit sharing... We can't have any of that.
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        Oct 2 2012: I understood Fernando to be asking whether employees should plan to stay with an employer for an entire career out of loyalty.

        No one is suggesting people make a habit of quitting jobs after a year or two.
  • Oct 2 2012: "Should employee loyalty be over?"

    I think it's already over and if not it should be for the reasons you mentioned. Why be loyal when you're treated as livestock?
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      Oct 2 2012: I agree with you, but there are still small businesses out there, working with trusted partners... So, I would just remind you that Employee loyalty, should still exist, where it has been earned through shared sacrifice, and shared profit.
      • Oct 2 2012: Sure, in those cases it should exist.
  • Oct 3 2012: We can tell how the mangers and people on the top of the company are treating their employees.
    By looking at how they treat customers.

    If they are treating their customers like sh!t.

    It means the employer, the people top of the tree are being
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    Oct 3 2012: We should try as much as possible to fix the economic system that threatens employee loyalty due to its numerous failings.
    Trust is important in all human relationships; and if people work together without this, efficiency will be adversely affected.
  • Oct 2 2012: Interesting. I see risk in companies performance, if employees develop a mindset of being transitory, to the extent of not feeling the level of passion required, to motivate them to perform to their max.
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      Oct 3 2012: This depends in part on the person's motivation for working and in particular the degree to which it is intrinsic. Some people may work less hard if they don't like the boss or expect not to be able to stay forever, while others take pride or pleasure in the quality of their work or are there for the customer much more than for the boss.
  • Oct 2 2012: Fritzie: good point, but why not invest in developing/training of current employees in needed new skills ?
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      Oct 2 2012: I misunderstood you. I thought you were asking whether employees should plan on staying with their same employers for a whole career.

      I think many businesses do prefer to develop their existing employees when the required skill set is a simple add on to what the person can already do. People used to use the terms "general training" and "specific training." Specific training and specific knowledge have special relevance to the setting to which the employee is hired. Once the employee knows the systems necessary in a setting as well as how to communicate with and work across working groups in the setting, it is often much more sensible to get the incumbent employee trained in the new skill than to train someone from outside who would still need all the training specific to the workplace.

      From the standpoint of the business, though, if what one really needs is a computer engineer, it is probably more efficient for a business to hire a computer engineer who has already received his four years of training and certification than to pay for four or more years of schooling for someone in-house, particularly someone whose role in the firm was entirely different.

      One factor that does dissuade firms from doing substantial amounts of their own technical training is that other businesses in the same industry may hire the person away once the first firm has trained them. The training is the employee's asset unless the employer is the only game in town.There is a lot of raiding of employees among software firms I believe.