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The shocking truth about employee loyalty

How we often handle employment issues today.

When we accept the work commitment from a person we hire, we make a pact with the new employee that often stops at agreeing to pay for service rendered and to provide a safe working environment.

There should be more than that. 

With some people you hire, you know you are just renting their services as they pass through your organization, aimed at a higher calling.  Others want to know that they are signing on to a career, not a job, and expect to move up within the ranks or on to a larger company that can accommodate their goals.

A recent statistic I saw surprised me.

The average new college graduate today will work thirteen jobs in his or her career, in an average of five different fields.  Ouch!  What happened to a job for life?  How can employers expect complete loyalty if there is no clear upward path to the top for the best new hire?

Can there be a trusted bond between employee-employer?

[Email readers, continue here…]   The answer coming from the best of breed in corporate personnel management is to form a trusted bond with each employee, helping that person to manage their career within and even preparing to follow our company experience.  If a superstar agrees to work for you for a period while learning the ropes to move to a better job elsewhere, assuming that there is candor in the communication by the employee and a level of trust in and by the employer, it is perfectly proper to offer to help that employee succeed. The pact between employee and employer is that the employee gives the best possible service to the company, in return for the company helping the employee to grow in, and perhaps beyond the position.

So, is this a one-sided negotiation?

Especially with young entrepreneurial CEOs, it feels to them like an employee stick up.  “Give me your money, and I will work only until I find a better job.”  And that attitude might be warranted if the employee just performs to the minimum required level, marking time to the next opportunity.  But if the person has skills and knowledge that the company needs, there is the basis for a fair trade of talent and time for a later organized, positive move to the next level  perhaps outside of the company.

The difficult but enlightened view

With that openly positive corporate attitude, you can celebrate the growth of the employee with a party as the person graduates, instead of either feeling anger when an employee resigns with short notice or being suspicious that the employee will leave with trade secrets in tow.  Certainly, other employees will see the supportive behavior, understand the company’s contribution to the career of this upwardly mobile employee, and celebrate not only the graduation event but the great culture of the company itself.

  • Harley Kaufman

    You neglected to highlight one fact. For the period of time that the employee is with you, you have the best person available to fill the job. I experienced this more than once in the Las Vegas resort hotel industry.

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