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Is loyalty old fashioned?

Loyalty is no more a virtue. Of course, being on LinkedIn, I am talking about loyalty as understood in business and not in personal relationships.

In old times, employees would stick around to the owner through thick and thin. They would take a salary cut if the business was not doing fine and will even help owners with financial support, should the need arise. By the way, these are not my fantasies. I have personally experienced these and I have always felt a sense of gratitude to my team for the same. By the way, I always call people working with me my team, never my employees. I cared for them and they cared for me. People did not leave me even when higher salaries were offered.

Before you jump to the conclusion that I must be in my 80s or 90s, please note that I am only 64 and I am talking of a time just a decade or two back.

Let us get back to the present scenario. No one and I think really no one, cares for the company when it comes to their personal growth. People leave a company like changing their shirt – “It suits my temperament better. I will have all the exposure if I join this company for a short while. The compensation is better here than where I am working currently.” The parents and friends all take it as normal behaviour. In most cases, it is appreciated. Nobody feels that we are doing anything wrong. Fact is, we are losing values.

The same young people and parents expect the companies to look after the employees as one of their own. Does it really make sense to you? For me, it does not. If you are not ready to be with the company for long term, please understand that the company will not care for you long term. The vibes and the energy won’t match. It is that simple.

People will talk of “The golden rule” of doing what you expect others to do to you, but not follow it themselves. All CEOs, MDs, Founders and owners, and entrepreneurs need to reboot their system if they really want society to improve. Personal advancement in a career does not automatically better society. In fact, it makes society more competitive and hence, more ruthless.

I will repeat here what I write most of the time. We ought to have a larger purpose in our life, beyond our own material advancement. Till then, all talk of culture, caring and community is just a talk. The working environment will continue to be toxic and people self-centred. Let us focus on #makingworkplaceshappier.

I don’t know how to do this, but I feel that most of us are talking about something and doing something else. Our talks, thoughts and acts are not aligned. We make the rules for others as if there is a difference between us and them. Till this duality exists, it is almost impossible to bring a genuine change in society. The wars, the hunger, the poverty, the exploitation will continue to rule the world and we will continue to show concern about these while sipping our scotch and champagne in air-conditioned rooms. It is time to wake up. Let us start talking about these real issues. I am always ready on Let us get together and start the real action.

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