«Loyalty is dead – killed off slowly through shortening contracts, outsourcing, automation and multiple careers. Faced with what could be 50 years of work – who honestly wants to spend that much time with one company? Serial monogamy is the order of the day. But whilst loyalty is dead... long live trust.
Loyalty is about the future – Trust is about the present.
Trust is core to the relationship between the employer and employee – without it relationships become simply transactions and work is mired and slowed through continuous checks and monitoring. CEO’s may not believe their executives to be loyal in the sense that they will be with them indefinitely – but they have to believe they are trustworthy. Trust is one of the most precious organisational assets – slow to build and quick to be destroyed. The precursor to trust is fairness, justice and dignity – demonstrated in how processes operate and how people are treated when the going gets tough. I believe that in the future it’s not that we humans will become any less emotional at work – but rather that the nature of our emotions will change. Take loyalty for example.
The argument I am making is that loyalty plays an ever less significant role in organisational life. However, it’s not that this has disappeared – but rather than it has been replaced with another human emotion – that of justice and fairness, which by the way, is hard to create and indeed to sustain.»