Loyalty might just be an old-fashioned ideal

by Kieran Flanagan

“Surely not,” you say! Well, hear me out.

Staff loyalty was once the ultimate measure of a leader. When a leader was great people stuck around. They progressed through the company. They grew old there. They got a gold watch.

Today staff tenure is in decline. The average length of time millennials stay in a job for  is now sitting at around 3 years. And it’s predicted to decrease further.

The paradigm has changed, broad experience now trumps long experience.

People come and people go. They get a lunch, or a cake, a silly leaving card or perhaps an emotionally stunted “all-staff” email with a “thank you – its been great” kind of vibe.

In this world staff turnover measures may not be the right ones to obsess over and in the future, tenure itself may be viewed as an archaic measure. Loyalty, once telling of the type of leader you were, might become irrelevant.

Instead leaders will be judged on their ability to rally people to their vision and cause. How they stand up, what they stand for, who they stand with and what they stand against will matter far more than how well they stand in line.

The workplace of the future will be driven by oneness of purpose. People will unite to drive change, to do something extraordinary and then dissipate as the need does. In this workplace we don’t want loyal people we want skilful, knowledgeable, driven people who have bought into what they are here to do.

In short, Workplaces characterized by loyalty and tenure will soon be replaced with cultures of the willing, of the voluntary, of the enthusiastic.