Is the Demise of Employee Loyalty a Good Thing?

by: Nichole Gunn March 17, 2011

It would be hard to find a person who doesn’t know of someone who has been affected by a cut in pay, reduced hours, or lay off during the economic downturn. What does this lead Generation Y, and most other employees, to believe? There isn’t much corporate loyalty to employees.

According to Jessica Stillman, writing for the Business Network of CBS, Bnet.com, the traditional employer/employee relationship was steadfast: If an employee demonstrated loyalty and productivity, he was guaranteed job security and the potential for advancement.

While it’s easy to blame the recent economic troubles on the turnabout of the employer/employee relationship, Stillman argues that, “in truth, we have been chipping away at one side of this relationship for decades, certainly since the extensive layoffs of the early 1980s.”

The lack of job security has led to a breech in trust. Employees no longer trust that a company will take care of them for the long haul.

The trust issue has created a conundrum for business owners: low employee retention rates. Employers need to find incentives and rewards programs that fill the trust void. Under the circumstances, a new formula needs to be designed.

Speaking as someone in the ‘still young’ category, Stillman values “freedom and flexibility over stability.” This is also the sediment of most of the Gen Y workers. Based on this information, companies need to design incentives such as flexible work hours, and even the option to work from home.

The bottom line is that results matter in today’s business world, Stillman believes it’s “time for a more results-oriented work environment.”

What Gen Y doesn’t realize is that in the future they will become the “middle-aged’ category. Rather than looking for a free and flexible work environment void of commitment, they may simply be looking for job security.

Striving to design a new form of employer/employee relationship that fosters job flexibility along with trust and loyalty, may be the way to go.


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.