Do you really still look for that elusive “loyal” employee for your organization? And if you do find them what special value do they add to your business? Do you have a special strategy for loyal yet dumb employees?

In this fast-paced, rapidly changing business environment in which corporate growth, profitability and productivity are critical, how important is employee loyalty?

Shift in work culture

Over the years there has indeed been a sea change in the work culture from what existed probably a decade or two ago. This is not only from the employees’ perspective but also from that of the employers. Previously, organizations expected life-long loyalty from their employees and the employees preferred having long, stable jobs with fixed timings and steady incomes.

The concept of employee loyalty is outdated in the new era of business. If loyalty is defined as being faithful to an organization, then there seems to be a certain amount of infidelity in the workplace these days. In fact, I would go even to the extent of saying that in the new era, the loyalty word has vanished from the business dictionary. Just like the word “commitment” has vanished, as I explained in one of my earlier blogs. Some people may not agree with me but let me open the Pandora’s box for you and show you the sour ground reality of today.

Just as employees are so much less loyal to their organization these days do you think companies are looking for loyalty in their employees? Not anymore. Employers first and foremost want the employees to perform, offer excellence, competitiveness and efficiency and contribute to the growth of the organization.

Who needs loyalty?

Strictly speaking from an employer’s point of view, we no longer pay much importance to the ‘loyalty’ aspect in an employee. In today’s age of cut throat rivalry and competition, each firm is in a race to outdo the other. How does loyalty help here?

What matters most is the productivity of an employee. How much business does he or she bring to the firm? This is our prime focus and hence, we cannot be held guilty if we are forced to cut down staff if such employees are not performing up to the mark, even though they are loyal.

As long as an employee is working well and is positive on the graph, the organization will retain him and keep him motivated by awarding hefty pay hikes and bonus and such other incentives. However, the day it appears that he is more of a liability to the company, one don’t hesitate to fire such an employee.

Little merit in tenure

When any employee fails to perform up to the desired level, we do not appraise him well. Once dissatisfied, they start looking out for other opportunities and ultimately leave. This becomes a win-win situation for employers as they are no longer saddled with a non-performing employee and at the same time can look to replace him/her with an effective one.

In this fast paced world loyalty has no meaning if the employee doesn’t deliver the results. One need not be in an organization for 10/20 years any more but even if he is there for 6 months he should be valuable for that period of time. The time that employee spends should add enough value to justify his tenure.  

 So where does loyalty stand?

 Today, loyalty is more of an end product rather than a necessity. As long as our demands of work delivery remain satisfactory, there is loyalty. In the event the employee continually fails to satisfy the same, it is the end of the road there. This is exactly how the cookie crumbles in today’s corporate environment. All we need are productive employees.  Clearly loyalty is secondary. It’s a result of value addition by employee. Just like in a relationship between husband wives, if love and care, attraction, trust and respect and other basic elements are in place, loyalty will be an outcome not a pre-requisite.