Is there still the concept of job loyalty?


What do you think of when you hear the word "loyalty"?  For me, it's definitely a dog. A lovable, loyal dog that's always by your side through thick and thin.

When we're talking about job loyalty though, it's a little different. Having spoken to CEOs and other business leaders, one thing they do think about is that nowadays, employees (*ahem* millennials) expect to be promoted quickly and start to wonder where their career is heading after 12 months on the job. If you consider the fact that it takes roughly 3 months for an individual to learn the culture, systems, processes, etc of a company to fully make an impact, that’s a pretty aggressive timeline to move up. Yet, this is more and more the standard.  Economically speaking, the numbers speak for themselves.

But, when changing jobs, the average employee sees a pay increase between 10 and 20 percent.
— Payscale -

Too often though, people focus only on the money. At the bottom of Payscale's list is the idea of employee engagement. Keeping employees excited about what they do is important, but what if companies can do that and retain their top talent? 

By the way, the other 2 benefits mentioned are expanding your network and learning new skills. If you're already at a company with a culture you like, transferring to another group gets you the benefits of learning, new networks, and excitement all without uprooting to another company. 

I also listened to this short high level podcast courtesy of Bloomberg that gave a nice macroview of why job loyalty is shifting. In short, they talk about:

  • the disappearance of unions
  • introduction of automation
  • globalization creating competition with low wage overseas labor
  • shift in corporate culture

It was the last one on corporate culture that got emphasized the most. Historically, companies had a mindset of taking care of everyone (employees, shareholders, management) but nowadays, the focus is more on maximizing shareholder value. 

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