Rethinking loyalty

Sep 21 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

There has been a lot of attention paid recently to the issue of employee engagement and the changing nature of the psychological contract between employers and employees.

According to Harvard Management Update, these changes in attitude require organisations to develop a new view of loyalty and its meaning to employers and employees.

The very nature of the relationship between employers and employees has undergone a fundamental shift: Today, workers not only don't expect to work for decades on end for the same company, but they don't want to. They are largely disillusioned with the very idea of loyalty to organizations. But, at the same time, they don't really want to shift employers every two to three years for their entire careers. Similarly, companies would grind to a halt if they had to replace large portions of the workforce on a similar schedule.

So where does this leave us? Is there a way for both employers and employees to strike a brand-new balance when it comes to loyalty—one that gives organizations the focus and expertise they need to compete and employees the career development opportunities they demand?

HBS Working Knowledge | Rethinking Company Loyalty