I was having a cup of coffee with a chief executive officer of an organization recently where he told me about a candidate for one of the vacant position in the organization.
He mentioned that the candidate is very qualified based on the number of years of experience and also the different type of responsibilities that the candidate so far.
However something stucked out like a sore thumb.
When I pressed further, he mentioned that the candidate changed job almost once every two years.
He was uncomfortable with the pattern that he observed and was looking primarily from one aspects, the idea of loyalty.
To him, loyalty matters more than anything else and if a candidate continued the job hopping process for greater monetary returns or more , then it did not look good at all.
Then again, I do know of employees who work for years in a company only to realize that they have become too comfortable in their comfort zone that they refused to allow themselves to be opened to possibilities outside their current job, simply because they have lost their competitive edge and other matters in life become more relevant than the rest.
There is also another person that I know who made it a point to change job every two to three years, each time getting better perks than before and getting more responsibilities along the way. He was climbing up the corporate ladder in a way that he thought he should. He is currently the Vice President of a large multi national corporation embarking on ambitious expansion in Asia Pacific.
So how then do you quantify the number of years work to the idea of loyalty?
Does it mean that if you change job every two to three years due to personal ambition and a chance at progressing in your career, you are not considered loyal?
How many years that you need to work in a company to be really considered loyal?
Then again loyalty should also be reciprocated.
How then shall the company that you are loyal to reward your loyalty?
Will they clear the path for you to expediate your promotion?
Do they spelt out the career progression for you so that you know very well that they appreciate your loyalty to the company?
An employee can only work for so long in their life.
How do they know that the company is sensitive enough to their needs and are also sensitive enough to appreciate their loyalty?
When companies grow larger by the day, do they take employees as objects that they can just toss out of the window if they feel that the employees’ contribution is redundant?
Will they still be more sensitive just like how a small sized organization which will operate in a family like atmosphere?
Does it mean that the more corporate company seemingly becomes, in the name of progress, the more inhumane they are in terms of their treatment of employees?
The challenge about today’s world is how do you really know, as an employee, that a company will, in the long term, will continue to be loyal to you if you are loyal to the company?
Perhaps that’s why the younger generations nowadays then not to stay too long in a company.
They pursue personal ambition vigorously yet they also know that perhaps the most effective way to climb the corporate ladder is to move on to another company within two to three years especially when they just graduated.
They are young, ambitious and within lesser commitments to tie them down.
Gone are the days where you have many employees working for many years in the same company without changing jobs.
Perhaps the younger generation do not think that, in the long term, loyalty does pay dividends.
After all, no matter how great is a company, if there’s an economic downturn and they decided to cut costs one of the first place will always be to cull their workforce which is actually a norm when the economy takes a turn to the worse.
So where is then the security of being an employee?
The feeling is that the employees will always be at the mercy of the management, especially if the management team is only looking after their self interest and survival.
By taking the simplest method of initiating a cull of the workforce, they are trying to demonstrate to the share holders that they are taking discernible actions to address the issue of falling revenue which might be due to many reasons including an unexpected economic downturn.
That’s the fastest and probably one that does not need too much thought.
Then again, if there are falling revenues due to many possible reasons, why not find the primary source of the problem and develop the right kind of strategy to deal with the situation, instead of the expected massive retrenchment exercise.
After all, many would have perhaps adopted the alternative approach of finding ways to increase revenue streams instead of directly cutting costs straight away.
With information freely available nowadays, many employees are becoming more knowledgeable and aware on how other companies behave towards their staff in the market place.
Perhaps that’s why many employees still prefer the smaller organization where family typed bonds are built effectively and trust is so much more prevalent.
Working in bigger companies means a lot more politics, many more political manoeuvring and the warmth of the atmosphere is usually lacking.
How then can you expect the employees to be so ever loyal in the first place?
After all, they are there not to build their own dreams.
They are there to build someone else’ dreams.
Which might not be really relevant to them in the long run.
As they do not know long will they work there.