Do you believe in company loyalty?

bellarosa(z5/IL)February 4, 2007

Here's my story:

I started my new job in January, but will be leaving it after a month, to accept a position with another company. My manager as you can imagine, wasn't too happy. She said to me that "she had never done anything to me". Of course, it sounds like she took my leaving personally. Then she goes on to say that when I give my word to a company, that I should keep it. I don't know about you, but I have a very hard time being loyal to a company nowadays, especially given the fact that I've been burned in the past. What about you? Do you have loyalty to your company?

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In your case, you weren't there long enough to get loyal.

I've worked for the family, so naturally, I was loyal. Dad needed me when i was cutting hair, so I left that job to go back to pumping gas. Got into the plant nursery business after that.

My son works for DirecTV. He has a some what loyalty to them since he's been there a year, but there was a time last Thanksgiving where they demanded that he work or lose his job. After that, he started looking for another job. He thinks he's found the company he wants, but isn't in a rush to get in since DTV is busy right now and the money is good. My stepson could get him into Comcast but the money isn't there.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 2:24PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

A month is not worth worrying about from either side, the company has not spent much training you at this point and you have not built up any lasting amount of leave or vacation not to mention retirement.

While the company I have worked for has changed I have been doing the same job since May 1989. The leaders of the company did what many companies do these days which is worry about the bottom line for today and not look at what might happen in the future because of the focus on now. We have not had a single sales person in the field since 2000 because they were deemed too expensive. As we have lost customers over the years for many reasons there has been no one to look for and add new accounts to replace them.

As a result we now are delivering mostly to national accounts with almost no local retailers which is where the real money is. Because of contract pricing for the big accounts the company ends up with a very thin profit margin.

We have four drivers and only need three. One driver got lost looking for our Portland warehouse last week even though he was just there two weeks before and spent an hour and a half looking for it and called me every ten minutes trying to find out where he was.

Another driver does a six hour route in eight and a half hours and after pointing out to my bosses that it does not take that long to do the route they just shrug their shoulders and let it go on.

I was getting forty five to fifty hours a week for seventeen years and am down to 36 to 38 hours now.

Since my boss has not a care in the world for what is going on I am calling another company tomorrow to see what kind of hours I could get there. I would be taking a pay cut of $4.04 an hour to change jobs but at the current rate of hour drop I could be down to 30 hours a week by summer.

After delivering to some of the stores on my routes for nearly eighteen years it will be hard to change jobs. Some of the managers that were only a little older than I am now have retired since I started and kids that were not born yet are graduating from high school this year.

I have always had great integrity at any job I have worked at and always have done what was best for the companies bottom line. However it is the end of the line for me here. I really hope my bosses enjoy having two of their worst workers staying on while the person they always turn to heads for the exit.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 3:23PM
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In a word: "no."

The only obligation is to give them your best efforts while employed and to give an appropriate notice--two weeks is usually plenty--occasionally more for upper management or professional positions.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 4:12PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I wish most companies deserved it, but they have so little loyalty in return. I've been burned ridiculously.

I would give more notice, etc, to a company that had offered benefits or not sent my job to India, but in the end they are going to look at the bottom line and you'd be silly not to also.

A month is nothing, on either side. That employer sounds homier and less businesslike than usual, which might be nice if she were prepared to go to bat for her people.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 4:59PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Don't most of them tell you to leave immediately if they hear you're leaving. Your time there should not cause you worry.

Good luck Lance.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 8:32PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

It seems that many of them don't give you benefits for 3 months. I don't think there is a reason to be loyal, and I think it is bad form for the boss to tell you off.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 10:03PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

When I hire a new employee, I put a lot of work into the search. I take the time to write descriptive ads and pay to place them. I interview as many as 10 candidates, pick finalists, then conduct second interviews. I take the time to ensure that the finalists know the job conditions so they may make an educated response to an offer. One candidate is hired with a written offer and the others are also notified in writing. A sumary is then prepared for HR in order to provide a record that I followed procedure in order to avert lawsuits from unsuccessful candidates. A great deal of time and money goes into such a process.

It is my expectation that the hired party will not quit in 30 days. Furthermore, when reviewing resumes, I eliminate candidates who seem unable to stick with an assignment for at least 2 years.

Of course, there are circumstances which make leaving your only course. Some employers paint a rosey picture which is far from reality.

I apologize if this sounds scolding. Loyalty is not the point, its really business etiquette. I just want to make it clear that there are two sides to this story.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 8:04AM
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pete41(9ab FL.)

I am with you 100% Harry.Many times the first month the employee is just learning the job and not really carry their weight..I guess I am an old timer but the attitude that the employer shouldn't be able to count on their employees' in this country would make overseas help very attractive.Also why places are very reluctant to hire overly qualified help.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 8:57AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Harry, when my husband got his recent job he had to take a psychological test and fly around and meet several people. Criminal check, drug check. Some companies I guess are in dire straights. I know where you are coming from. At that point, it's an investment.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:07AM
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I can see both sides - that must be what makes me a libra! I left a job after a month and my boss had a hissy, but in my case it came down to a bottom line of increased income and a move back home, where I wanted to be. It was not pleasant, but it was the best move for me. While I was there, I did good work and earned my keep - just got offered much better keep in a location *I* wanted to be!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:54AM
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ON the human side of course I'd be annoyed I've had folks last 3 days and go on interviews during their lunch hour and knew that thats what they were doing...gone so the human part of me is annoyed. If there was'nt a contract then like the free market price and conditions dictate everything.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 11:23AM
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My 2c is that Harry is a good boss, I had a few of those, I've had more of the other variety. Sometimes it depends on the size of the company and the boss isn't aware of the dynamics going on in the office. Sometimes the office manager is doing a little pms'ing too often. Sometimes the job isn't working out quite what was described and sometimes a better paying job comes along. Loyalty is very good but unless you can pay that employee more they need that extra. Sometimes loyalty is not recognized as you get older they're looking for ways to help you move along, you cost too much.

Lance is now in the area of his life that it costs his company more for him to work than the younger drivers and thats why they're not so subtly giving him his full hours any more. The younger/newer drivers don't cost as much per hour and if Lance isn't getting the hours he needs he'll be looking to leave for another job with full time. They then have solved the problem with a high paid driver they've forced out. They don't really care apparently how well you do the job, the bottom line is cost and the money they make. Apparently the driver milking his time must be a boss favorite.

Many moons ago, I used to work for a feed mill in customer service and had the drivers time down and knew pretty exact how long it took to make a run to any of the turkey ranches in a 4 county area to schedule each of the trucks for the day. If a driver couldn't consistently make his deliveries he was let go after warnings and probation.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 1:48PM
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I know of a couple of instances where I work that the person hired interviewed multiple places and hired in and a month later one of the businesses they interviewed with finally had the money in place and sends an offer. If it's a major raise over what they are currently making and a lateral in the type of work and they like their current situation, most will talk with their boss to see if a wage match can be made, if not most often the employee will then give written notice. Some jobs you interview for around here take 2-8 months before a decision is made and it's all about who wins a contract whether you get hired or not. You still have to pay the bills so if you like your current employer but the manager isn't willing to match your pay, that is their problem.

Another scenario often played out is an employee with a job skill set is looking to move his career in a new direction but they still need a job to cover living expenses until someone is willing to take a risk and offer them that new career (ex programmer looking to do project management or network engineering).

Then there are the jobs that require company jumping to move ahead. I think this is stupid personally but there are several in this area that in order to get promoted you must jump to their competitor to jump back at the next level. Think of all the money wasted to train the replacement where if they just promoted they would have been better off.
Food for thought.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 4:21PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

My boss can be found in the dictionary under passive passive aggressive. He does not want to cause any heart ache or have to give bad news so he is just letting all four drivers lose hours until one quits. That way the problem is solved and no need to get those hands dirty besides they cannot get unemployment after quitting. I make about $4.75 an hour more than the lowest paid driver per hour and get the routes done in the least amount of time possible without cutting corners.

No offense to any union people but two of the other drivers think they have some kind of union contract which says no need to work in the warehouse when you return from your route. Also you do not have to do any work other than your route even though the other workers have worked much longer days than you. When they are asked to do extra work in the warehouse they do the most half bleeped job possible so that the boss will not even think about asking them in the future. For instance checking a dozen full pallet sized orders in five minutes which should take twenty minutes if the pallet is perfect.

I have nothing against union workers who have a contract which says what their job is, that way the company cannot take advantage of workers to undermine others. I just do not like it when someone thinks they deserve a big raise but will not do anything but the minimum work.

Our best new hire story ever was a guy that was hired to stack forty pound bags onto a pallet and could see what the job entailed while he filled out tthe application. He was hired, filled out the required documents then walked out into the warehouse picked up one bag turned and said to the boss ( This is not good for my back ) he then quit.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 4:38PM
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Quoting Carla Don't most of them tell you to leave immediately if they hear you're leaving. Your time there should not cause you worry.

That's exactly what happened to my son with his last job. I told him to give 2 weeks, he told me he heard they tell people not to come back. I pushed, thankfully he kind of listened to me, not quite a 2 week notice; but he did lose a lot of pay. I was furious.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 7:05PM
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I've been a boss and an employee. Harry is right, but so is bellarosa. The fact is that company loyalty isn't what it used to be. People do not stay with the same company for decades, at least to the extent they did in the past. And even long time employees who feel strongly loyal can get burned if the company's bottom line requires it.

For me, there is a difference between loyalty and business etiquette. Business etiquette means that if an opportunity you cannot pass up requires that you leave your job after 30 days, you do everything you can to give your employer an easy transition. Plenty of notice, assistance in finding a replacement and time with that person to train them or explain the status of your work.

The situation is much more complicated if the employer has paid a search firm a fee to find you. That would have to be made right in some fashion, if the search firm had no minimum time requirement before it got paid.

Loyalty means you stay for reasons other than money, or you inform your employer of a better offer, and give them the opportunity to match or better it.

But loyalty has to be earned. To me, it's a question of years. In the beginning, it's not really an issue. If you were leaving after 30 days because your employer found someone who could do the job better than you, would you be questioning why there was no loyalty to you? Of course not. You'd be angry and upset, but the issue of loyalty would probably not occur to you after such a short time.

As an employee, you have no absolute guarantee of permanent employment (unless you have a contract or something like that). You could be the greatest worker on the planet, but you are always expendable.

I spent years at a prominent law firm, after turning down partnership in two other firms. I loved my job. I was paid okay, but I had real job satisfaction. My reputation among my peers was exceptional, and I was given incredible opportunities. I acquired an interest (financial) in my cases, and made the firm (and myself) lots of money.

The firm was very small. There were 3 partners, and they didn't really want any more. Still, I was happy, and they were wonderful to me. I used to say to my dh that it was the last job I'd have.

Then one partner, who was my mentor, decided to retire early. Another decided to take his practice in a different direction, and left. The remaining partner decided to shrink the practice.

My mentor had always told me that if they ever made anyone a partner, it would be me. I depended entirely on the mutual loyalty between myself and the firm for my job security. But the remaining partner, despite promising me and two other lawyers that we would now become partners, did not follow through. My efforts earned tens of millions of dollars in fees for the firm over the years, but this remaining partner just couldn't let go.

I left. Loyalty only goes so far, even after a decade. I used proper business etiquette, and my departure was smooth. In fact, I retained a business relationship with my old firm, and we shared a number of cases together. We are still friends. My old mentor told me I would look back on my decision and realize it was the best thing I ever did. He was right. I made more money out of the cases I worked on with my old firm than I would have made as an employee there!! LOL!!!! And they knew it!

So, so long as you exercised proper business etiquette, and the inconvenience to the employer was minimized (very important not to burn those bridges, if possible!!), then I wouldn't worry. Not after 30 days. You are not that immersed in the work, nor that knowledgeable to be a key employee. And if they had to let you go for economic reasons, the cost and inconvenience to you of being unemployed would not be a part of their decision.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 12:49PM
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iowa_jade(C 5b H 6)

I have been on both sides of the issue also. I think that a lot depends on the nature of the job, the investment the company has in the employee and the amount of money the manager has battled to get for the employee.

Most companies have adapted the attitude; "What have you done for me lately?" and if you do give two week notice you may be asked to clear out your desk that day.

I have a good company to work for. They have cut their staff several times. They have good medical.

I know my father-in-law transfered from one university to another all the time. Unless you are willing to wait for someone to die off it is the only way to get to the top of your profession in some cases.

My son walks out on a yearly basis. They beg him to come back and give him a big fat raise. This year he says he is going to quit for sure. He is a better negotiator than I am.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 5:31PM
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