I have frequently remarked that this up and coming generation is lacking the "employee loyalty" gene in their genetic make-up. Young 20 and 30-somethings see nothing wrong with jobwhereas at one time it was viewed skeptically; what is wrong with them that they job hop?
Rare are the occasions when employees retire after 30 years and receive the gold watch – between early retirement packages, mergers and acquisitions – workers just don't make it to retirement without at least one job change.
Today I read an interesting article with a different spin. Jack Welch, chairman and CEO of General Electric, Co spoke to a group of professionals recently in Cleveland and as part of his speech he addressed employee loyalty:
Employee loyalty can be a great thing, but don't expect too much of it, says Jack Welch. Loyalty is a bunch of nonsense, he says. Welch always felt the attitude at General Electric – where he formerly served as chairman and CEO – should be that employees love working there but are ready to leave. That made it the job of management to excite people and provide an atmosphere that made them want to stay, whether through compensation or growth. Welch says GE measured managers by the number of good people they lost because they didn't provide that ambiance. He stresses to managers that a business should be about tomorrow, and about the ideas and actions that make employees want to stay. And to create an environment where employees want to stay, Welch says it's important to put in people who buy in to the culture. Although you want to get rid of the resisters, Welch says that a leader also must demonstrate why a certain method works by outlining the company's vision and what it can do for the company and employees.
Jack puts the responsibility for employee retention on the managers to EXCITE their associates to WANT to stay rather than the other way around.
What do you think? For a recap of Jack's speech, click here.