Today we are entering the ground of competition and pressure, uncertainty and anxiety, fatigue and repetition. So we're going to our beloved… job.
For this column, I was inspired by a comment posted under one of the LinkedIn posts:
“For me, as an employee, the most important effects for the company are not. If I had a choice between working for a man with whom you do not know what to expect or for a predictable but slightly less successful boss, I would always choose the latter. I am more interested in calm and stable work than in achieving results for the company. "
So let's look at the topic of loyalty, especially loyalty at work.
Loyalty at work - Loyalty to whom?
I also prefer a predictable and "normal" boss. I had many, and the vast majority of them were foreigners. They represented so many styles, so many shades related to their country of origin and its culture. So which "leadership style" is the best (for me)? As a subordinate (I don't like this term because it smells like feudal submission), do I have to adapt to the style of my new boss every time? Will I then lose myself and become a conglomerate of my bosses' expectations?
Let's try to start with the foundations. An employment contract is a contract. I do the job and the company pays me for this "service". However, every private company exists to earn money. This is its meaning and purpose. And I may be brutal here, but even any training systems designed to develop employee skills are ultimately aimed at maximizing profit for the company.
The point of view, however, depends on the place of sitting. So let's reverse the situation. If we were the owners of our own company, would we prefer an employee who is looking for solutions that bring the best results or one who is predictable, but is simply interested in a calm and stable job? I can tell you something about this while running my own business.
The bigger the organization, the more complicated the situation becomes. Because what exactly is a company?
The company is primarily people. So who am I working for? For my boss? For the boss of my boss, or maybe for the company's management, which in large corporations is still divided into management boards of national companies, regional organizations, and finally the management board of the headquarters? Who ultimately pays me for the work?
And if I am the boss myself, or the boss of the boss, who should I be loyal to: my boss or my subordinates? If, during a serious crisis, I have to dismiss part of my team, will I be able to cope with this task? Because if I can't manage it, there will be someone else in the company who will do it. But then I will land on the pavement. And my family will suffer.
I believe that a manager who did not have to fire people is not yet a full manager. This is one of the most difficult moments in your career. It is facing a serious dilemma, looking inside yourself, and finding answers to very serious questions. It is an examination of inner integrity, a painful occasion to learn something about yourself. And usually a priceless lesson in humility.
If the decision to dismiss employees has already been made and we had no influence on it, HOW we will do it becomes very important. Whether with honesty and respect to another person or as soon as possible, just to get over it.
I have always tried to remember that at any time, I can find myself in a situation of being dismissed myself. And I often told the company lawyer: "Piotrek, it is not known who will fire whom." The higher you sit, the stronger the winds blow and the harder the fall becomes.
New generations of employees and their loyalty to the employer
I cannot resist reflections on Generations Y and Z. For a “company” it is not an easy nut to eat. I am one of those who went through the transformation of the Polish political system. I still remember the times when I stood in a long line to buy 10 grams of candy for PLN 1.80, the only candy available in the store. The times when capitalism was born in Poland and it was necessary to work hard.
Today, young people value freedom and independence. They are not very loyal to their employer. At the same time, they have relatively high expectations. In addition, there is everything in the stores. Consumerism and advertising rule this world. Everything is at your fingertips (for the computer keyboard and front sight) and it's easy to do. You don't even want to go out on a date. What for? You can sit down at the computer and click on fb.
Exactly. Everything is at your fingertips and comes easily. You don't have to try and you don't appreciate what you have. However, one would like to have even more. However when this "more" will it be "enough"?
I'm afraid only when Life brings a sobering cold shower and leaves us with nothing for a while. Only then begins the song "How much you need to value, the only one who lost it will know."
Finally - the key question about loyalty
I am aware that this column is ambiguous, maybe even unclear. However, I do not provide ready-made answers on purpose. I know that there are various threads here.
But, Dear Reader, they have a part in common. Maybe you already know which one? If not, then the key question is: to whom do you want to be loyal, and for what reason? Or in other words:
betraying who would do the greatest harm to you?
If you find your honest answer to this question, everything can become extremely simple ...