Who’s Loyalty is it anyway?


We hear these words every day. Who is loyal to whom and what and why!

The pronunciation of the Chinese symbol for loyalty is “jong cheng”.

It’s a universal value that we all seek and is often the worst and the best of people! It’s been around from the days of Adam and Eve, and it’s not always for ever~ many people know this to their sadness and detriment! It’s something you have to work to earn and then work harder to keep.

So I sat down with a friend and we discussed the different loyalties there are….

1. The Generational differences: Between Gen. Xers, Y’s, Millenniums’ and the Baby Boomers. They all have different loyalties whether to themselves, to the workplace, to family, their gadgets, their future, some want goals and targets some are so laid back they are horizontal, some want to be communicated with others want to be left alone. One thing is for sure they have different loyalties and being aware of those differences to achieve inclusiveness when you hire these folks is crucial for fit in your business to assure engagement.

2. In the workplace: Is employee loyalty to the manager, the co-worker, the CEO, the business strategy the mission or a faith-based philosophy. Best to find out what it is, so that you know what sustains their intrinsic motivation. It’s also important to understand in these difficult times when employee loyalty is being tested with pay reductions, benefit cuts, layoffs. How is employee loyalty rewarded when they have given 30 years of their lives and how is the loyalty factor affected of those that remain?

3. In the High Street: The grocery and retail stores we shop at, the car dealerships, the places where we eat, and the doctors we trust. It all comes down to the fact that we return to places where we feel “treasured”, well maybe I should not go that far, but we do want to feel special for sure. How fickle can we be when in one instance we lose that “feeling of being special”.  Oh Yes! Those retail loyalty cards that “buy” our loyalty is it us the stores want or our money?

4. Loyalty to your Country: The blind loyalty that gets people to do things for patriotic reasons sometimes against their own convictions. Often people die for this kind of loyalty- the supreme sacrifice.

5. Loyalty for a cause: The passion for Fundamental Rights and Freedom, Charities, a Church, a Club, or a Cause so unshakeable they will lose friendships for. History is littered with people who stood up for Freedom, Racial Adversity and Oppression.

6. Loyalty to friends and family: Blood is thicker then water so sometimes we stick by those we love just because… and we do so no matter what because we love them.

So how fickle is loyalty? I leave that for you to think about? Why is it often an uneven balance with one giving more then the other?

One thing is for sure having different loyalties does not mean you are disloyal to something else.

Being loyal to something different represents richness of difference and of inclusiveness of the people we are, and it’s not wrong to think or be different. What is wrong is not embracing those differences.

So is loyalty a one or two way street?  I believe it’s a highway! A highway that asks us to drive together in our different “loyalty vehicles” of choice and our challenge is to ensure we reach the same destination- together without crashing into each other!

Picture by Foxie, guarding the body of her master Charles Gough, in Attachment by Edwin Landseer, 1829

 

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About HRMexplorer

Managing Director - Human Capital Europe and USA - My ability is to recognize ingrained assumptions and patterns of operation that aren’t productive, and offer practical, cost-effective and value-based solutions.

Posted on July 31, 2010, in HRMexplorer Blogs and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It was me that started this conversation due to the frustration at my work. where the generation gap causes problems . the younger generation v the older generation and how their different work ethics clash
    In the workplace. Long standing loyalty also brings experience unless management wake up to this fact they will lose all that these people do for them and the business. The alternative is they will take them selves and their lifelong experience in what ever field they are in with them and go somewhere else .
    well written Peter just shows how one word LOYALTY can bring to a discussion and the different meaning it has to different people

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Who’s? Loyalty is it anyway? « HRMexplorer's Blog -- Topsy.com

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