Corporate Loyalty: what “being loyal to your company” is all about

Loyalty to your company?

loyaltyThe concept of being a “loyal” person is prevalent in Indonesia employment context. More managers i meet are saying, explicitly or through the conclusion of their talk, that loyalty is an important trait for the work place. That if you move companies once every one year, people would doubt your loyalty. So, to find balance in the discussion, and what is the core issue of loyalty, i create this post.

Ok, first, moving companies to fast for to many times is simply stupid. This is true. If you move companies within less than one year, that’s still ok, if you do that 3 months in a row, what the hell is wrong with you?

Why is this wrong? because the next employer will ask, will my investment (recruiting, training) in him be lost? And the more underlying, and unfortunately not so pronounced question is, is that person commited to my company?

Now, this aspect, commitment, is actually the core of the problem. I find comitment to be the core issue of loyalty.

I think tenure is a bad measure of commitment, tenure is a bad measure of loyalty. One should not move companies less than two year for more than one time, but manager and companies are shooting themselves in the foot if they think that tenure is a measure of loyalty.

I have a candidate who completed his undergraduate and MBA in the united states, he’s very interested in Financial Management, and he’s applying to my current employer, a retail bank that is retail to the core. I said to him “if you wanna join us, this is what you gonna have, there’s no financial management aspect here, but if you want to learn how to do expand your skill base, this will be a great place. So what i’m gonna do is, i’m gonna give you time to think if you really wanna join, if you don’t, i can refer you to some management consulting or financial companies in Indonesia, you can do what you like, but if you insist on joining us, then we’ll continue the process”

He insist on joining us. Now, what can i realistically expect from this guy? that he will join us for the next 5 years? bullshit.

On his side, seeing his strong interest on financial management i’m quite sure that in one year he will ask “what the fuck am i doing a retail bank like this, getting this meager pay with no expense account, no facilities, and crappy insurance coverage; while if i move to an office less than 100 meters from where i’m working now, i could easily double my pay”. He will want to move.

And from my side, he staying for 5 years is not what i need. What i need is for him to stay for 2 years, execute the job i ask him to do, and do it with full passion and effort. If he do less than a full a passion and effort, i will kick his ass faster than you can reach the end of this post.

I repeat that again, what i need, me as the person who’s head is on the table for the delivery of my projects, is for my staff to their job to the fullest extent of passion and effort, regardless of how long they work.

I’ve seen people who work for 10 years, 15 years, but they go to work with ill will toward the company, they provide no solution when prompted with issues despite their “extensive experience”, and they ask “who’s gonna do job” then pass the buck constantly when it’s actually their turn to do the job. Are these guys loyal? Does their 10, 15 year tenure has any meaning to their loyalty?

Managers, i ask you this,

would you rather to have someone who’s willing to stay with you for 10 years, but go to work with zero output and negative influence

or would you rather to have someone who will stay for 2 years, but go to work with a 2 person’s output, and spread positive influence to another ten?

It’s time to see loyalty with a proper lens


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