Employees often struggle to find a balance between organisational goals and individual career goals.Loyalty to the organisation is often questioned when employees continously try achieve better career option sometimes even at the cost of their organisations.
Lauren Keller Johnson in HBR's latest issue advocates that loyalty should not be viewed as an either/or proposition.
The very nature of the relationship between employers and employees has undergone a fundamental shift: Today, workers not only don't expect to work for decades on end for the same company, but they don't want to.
They are largely disillusioned with the very idea of loyalty to organizations. But, at the same time, they don't really want to shift employers every two to three years for their entire careers. Similarly, companies would grind to a halt if they had to replace large portions of the workforce on a similar schedule.
So where does this leave us? Is there a way for both employers and employees to strike a brand-new balance when it comes to loyalty—one that gives organizations the focus and expertise they need to compete and employees the career development opportunities they demand?
According to the experts interviewed by Update, the answer is yes, but only if companies are willing to rethink how they define loyalty and how they manage their people.It's true, the experts say, that to produce their best work, employees must be loyal to the company and what it stands for. But "employees can give their employers 100 percent and provide great performance while furthering their own careers," says Joyce Gioia of The Herman Group, a consultancy based in Greensboro, North Carolina "The two aren't mutually exclusive," especially when the skills that a person masters to further her own career are also what the company needs.
And when firms help workers acquire new skills that support their professional advancement, they often win those workers' commitment—and attract loyal new employees. This gives rise to another important point: Employers can promote company loyalty by helping people grow out of their jobs—ideally, into new ones within the company.
But even when you can't retain talent, it doesn't mean departing employees weren't loyal. Indeed, another mistaken assumption is that loyalty has to mean "forever." "One of my students expressed it well," says Harvard Business School professor Linda Hill. "He said, 'It's like dating: You can be faithful to the person you're seeing now while you're involved with him or her, but that doesn't mean you won't move on to dating someone else later.'"
Nor should companies strive to keep all employees forever. "You don't want blind loyalty," says Scott Brooks, an executive consultant at Minneapolis-based Gantz Wiley Research."The best kind is when both parties are benefiting." Leigh Grantham, VP of marketing and administration at DeFuniak Springs, Florida-based electricity provider CHELCO, agrees: "I'd rather have a star performer for three years than a dud for life."On the Role of relationships in organisations:Focus on relationships. For many employees, loyalty is born or cemented through relationships with supervisors and colleagues.
"The number one reason people leave an organization isn't inadequate pay or benefits," says business writer John Putzier. "It's the day-to-day relationship with their immediate superior." Leaders seeking to secure employees' loyalty must work to create a positive bond.
How? "Be fair in distributing rewards and punishment," advises Donald P. Rogers, professor of international business at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. John Chappelear, a professional coach and trainer, says, "Clarify your expectations, and make sure people have the resources and skills they need to fulfill those expectations."