When interviewers ask in a job interview what are your strengths, one of my answers used to be that I am incredibly loyal.
I don’t say that anymore – not because I’m not loyal to my manager and company but because I’m not convinced that loyalty is still viewed as a valuable commodity in the workplace.
Which raises the question – is loyalty in the workplace dead?
For starters, it depends on what your definition of loyalty at work is.
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Does loyalty mean working for the same company for a long time, staying with a company through hard financial times and restructures, or making sure that you always protect the best interests of the company and its employees?
Does working for the same company for many years mean you are loyal or simply too scared to see what else is out there? Are long-term employees loyal or do they simply hate the idea of change? Is it loyalty or a bad job market stopping people from moving on?
The days or working for one company for 20 years are quickly coming to an end.
People change jobs and careers regularly over the course of their working lives. Does loyalty still play a role in these constantly shifting circumstances?
With companies outsourcing work offshore to utilize cheaper employment markets or shredding staff in their latest restructure how does employee loyalty survive? Are the employees that get to stay with the company loyal or simply the last ones standing after a game of corporate musical chairs?
Do companies or employees even care about loyalty or is it simply a matter of churning out the required work and the company making the required profit?
From my point of view as a personal assistant loyalty to my manager/team/company is still important.
Loyalty is about keeping confidences and being there for your manager. It’s about protecting them, the company as well as yourself.
I’ve heard assistants talk openly about their bosses work practices or even private lives in front of other staff. It always makes me cringe. For an assistant privy to important information confidentiality and loyalty often go hand in hand.
The kicker with loyalty is that it’s a two-way street, it doesn’t work if only one party is feeling the love. Bullying and favoritism which unfortunately are rife in business nowadays, chip away and destroy the loyalty of employees.
Does loyalty in the workplace come down to our individual relationships and friendships? Are we loyal to co-workers who are our friends or the manager that we like and respect?
Are we sometimes more loyal to our customers than the actual company we work for?
While companies place huge importance on customer brand loyalty, do they still value the loyalty of their staff as well?
I think when it comes down to it, loyalty is an individual choice. We chose to be loyal based on our personal principles and values.
What are your thoughts on loyalty in the workplace?
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