Is Employee Loyalty Dead?  Until the 1980s and 1990s, there was a culture of hard work. If a team member was dedicated, trustworthy, and reliable, they were rewarded with job security. It was not unheard of to begin your career at the bottom of an organization and work your way up the corporate ladder until you were ready for retirement from that same company. Hearing of a successful person switching careers was an anomaly.

Widespread mergers and layoffs created a pivotal shift in retention, which caused job security to become scarce. The generations following, mainly Gen X and Gen Y, learned to keep their career options open. They learned that hard work does not always guarantee continued employment if there is a merger or downturn. They also find it difficult to be loyal to a manager or organization that changes schedules, work arrangements, or appears to hand out pink slips seemingly on a whim.

This new culture has created retention challenges in many organizations. It is difficult for managers to instill a sense of trust and loyalty in uncertain times – especially if the managers, themselves, are skeptical.

It is not impossible to rekindle a sense of loyalty. Organizations need to understand that the culture has changed: meaning, team members, may choose to move on. Instead of focusing on the end, focus on the time they are in the position. Maximize this time by helping them be happy and successful in their work. People tend to leave managers, not jobs. Keeping managers accountable is critical to team members excelling in their position.

Developing a passion for their work, receiving regular feedback, having a sense of ownership, and working in a positive and collaborative environment are all aspects of a position that a manager and organization can provide. Team members want to set and achieve goals that may lead to upward mobility within the company. These are all aspects of an organization that are highly desired by top talent. Those working for organizations that foster this type of culture are more likely to stay with their current organization longer than the average 4.5 years.

In the end, loyalty is a two-way street. If the manager and organization is committed to helping team members develop a passion for their work and provide an atmosphere of collaboration, employees are more likely to feel comfortable in their position and their work. This cultural shift can dramatically increase employee retention.

David Klein is a leading Executive IT Recruiter & Headhunter with over 15 years industry experience.  As Manager of Recruitment Strategy for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. David has successfully led, trained and introduced many in the art of Executive Recruitment and Headhunting. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact David at 646-650-2833 or