Where do your loyalties lie? How important is it to be loyal in the world of business and what are companies doing to create an environment for loyalty to emerge?
Loyalty is defined as giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution. A pet dog is a great example of loyalty. Your dog always greets you when you arrive in your home. It happily displays its love and loyalty. We can be loyal to a person, an idea, a custom, a cause, or a duty. We would like to believe that loyalty does not waver regardless of the situation. We cannot be partially loyal to something, can we? How should we handle loyalties that are in conflict with each other? The truth is a situation can affect your loyalty.
In my experience, I find it useful to always step back and view things from the perspective of my values. Loyalties develop based on external factors and experiences. But values are more basic, they have already been internalized and built into your daily actions. If you find yourself in a situation where your loyalty is being tested, be sure to reflect on your values before you decide your next action. Be authentic. It helps, especially in a situation such as a job search. Forbes wrote an article that explored how company loyalty carries weight while searching for a job. They discuss how you should prepare for job hunting after a long stint with one company. This comment below caught my eye.
Demonstrate Ability To Lead Change
Focus on the aspects of the job that demonstrate a direct influence on driving change, since it is a highly coveted and transferable skill set. That can mean how you:
• Led your team and organization through significant periods of growth, ownership changes, corporate restructuring and strategic business shifts
• Reinvented the business as a response to changing market conditions, consumer demands or the competitive landscape
• Shepherded a new business start-up or turnaround
In today’s business environment, change is one of the few givens, and a candidate’s ability to lead through and effectively navigate change is critical.
Being able to change, learn, and grow is an important aspect of any position you may be in, whether you’re a lower-level employee or all the way up the chain in management. As they stated, change is a given. So what does this mean for company loyalty? Does anyone begin a career with a company where they will end up retiring at that same company? It doesn’t seem to be the trend anymore, according this recent AccelaWork post that details how the younger generation has been job hopping. Is that our future?
One of the dirty little secrets of the job-hopping trend is that employees are gaming the system when it comes to salaries, according to Shadd Weber, a former job analyst with the U.S. Department of Labor. “Let’s say you stick with the same firm for five or 10 years. In today’s economy, you’re getting anywhere from a 1 to 5 percent raise each year,” says Weber. “If you’re accepting a new job every year or even every other year, it’s doubtful that you’re leaving for 1 to 5 percent. Most people want at least a 10 percent increase in salary if they’re going to switch jobs.”
What it comes down to is whether loyalty is an important trait to you? If so, use it to your advantage. Go against the grain where you can to showcase this trait. Above all else, don’t compromise your own integrity. Be loyal at work and in everyday life, but also, don’t become a doormat. Know your worth!