I Don’t Want Loyal Employees On My Team

by | Jun 8, 2024

Loyalty at work no longer pays – and it’s employers are who to blame

Old-school loyalty at work is dead and I say good riddance. I don’t want loyal employees on my team and neither should you.  Just as misguided leaders say work is like “family,” employers looking for loyalty are missing the mark.

What I do want is people giving their best because this company has provided them with a position where they’re challenged, they’re growing, they’re accomplishing something important to them and they’re getting paid well for it.

And the minute I can’t provide those things as an employer, it’s not good for either party.

A loyal employee would stay regardless. And that’s ridiculous because this is not a marriage. It’s a job.

What do I want? I want that employee to feel like it’s ok to say, “Hey Jessica, can we talk about my role here? I’m feeling like I’m not as fulfilled…”

But often employees don’t have that conversation for fear that revealing their discontent will put them on the chopping block. And they’re often not wrong. Many leaders hear that and start recruiting. That’s a mistake.

Employers should welcome these conversations with an open mind and a willingness to find mutually beneficial solutions. This approach can prevent employees from quietly quitting or secretly job hunting, which ultimately harms both the employee’s career and the company’s performance.

Fear often leads employees to settle for less, leading to disengagement, resentment, and mediocre performance. By creating an environment where employees feel safe to discuss their needs and aspirations, employers can cultivate a more engaged and high-performing workforce… even if it requires some investment.  At Culture Partners, we have had those difficult conversations and the outcome is always positive. We have let people stay on while they look for their next role elsewhere. We have transferred people to teams that might offer a new challenge. And we’ve said goodbye to colleagues who just weren’t that into us anymore. In the long term, everyone won.

Good leadership is about empathy and transparency, not just giving orders. Leaders who prioritize their team’s well-being and support their evolving needs create an environment where employees feel valued and driven. By promoting a culture that emphasizes personal growth and aligns with employee passions, companies can inspire fulfillment and long tenure naturally.

This shift from traditional loyalty to fostering passion and purpose isn’t just a trend—it’s the future of work. Embrace it, and watch your team thrive.

Elsewhere In Culture

‘Furious’ and ‘appalled’: Students, alum react to University of the Arts closure

The sudden closure of the University of the Arts (UArts) has left students, faculty, and alumni feeling blindsided and outraged. The announcement, made just days before the shutdown, canceled summer courses and halted new enrollments for the fall. The administration blamed severe financial issues and unexpected expenses for the drastic decision. Despite efforts to help students transfer to other schools like Temple and Drexel, the lack of prior warning has sparked widespread anger. Noah David Roberts, a poetry major, slammed the administration’s “negligence” and “lack of communication,” feeling completely let down by how the situation was handled.

This unexpected closure highlights a huge lack of accountability and transparency from what used to be a respected university. Professor Daisy Fried voiced her frustration, pointing out the university’s failure to uphold its promises to students and staff. The closure is part of a worrying trend, with other arts schools in Philly also shutting down their degree programs. This leaves many, like Jennifer Cressman, who had just committed to UArts, scrambling for new plans. The reaction from the UArts community shows a deep sense of betrayal and raises important questions about how educational institutions manage their finances and communicate with their communities.

Walmart rolls out new training programs for skilled trades as it tries to fill high-demand roles

Walmart’s rollout of new training programs for skilled trades marks a significant shift in the retail giant’s approach to workforce development. By focusing on roles such as HVAC technicians, opticians, and software engineers, Walmart is not only addressing the challenge of filling high-demand positions but also offering employees valuable opportunities for career advancement. This initiative, piloted in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, highlights Walmart’s commitment to upskilling its workforce, which is crucial for retaining talent in a competitive labor market. These programs provide a pathway for store and warehouse employees to transition into higher-paying, specialized roles, thereby improving job satisfaction and loyalty. This move aligns with Walmart’s broader strategy to invest in its people and infrastructure, as evidenced by their $9 billion project to modernize over 1,400 stores.

This development underscores a vital aspect of workplace culture: the importance of continuous learning and professional growth. By providing training and certification programs, companies like Walmart not only equip their employees with the skills needed for today’s job market but also create a more resilient and adaptable workforce. This approach resonates with the idea that fostering a culture of curiosity and development can significantly impact employee engagement and organizational success. In a rapidly evolving job landscape, organizations that prioritize workforce development and upskilling are better positioned to attract and retain top talent, ultimately driving long-term success.

If you want people to genuinely care, you need to change their beliefs, not only their actions.

I’ve been approached by countless CEOs and leaders, all expressing a shared frustration: despite reminding, urging, and implementing perks and benefits, they face a stark lack of genuine engagement.

This is precisely what we refer to as the “Action Trap.” The Action Trap occurs when leaders find themselves in a continuous cycle of implementing new processes and systems (taking new actions) to change results, rather than addressing the underlying experiences that lead to those results. Our beliefs stem from our experiences.

So, if you want to instill a new belief, you need to create a new experience.

That’s the key to making people care.


Do you have creative people in your organization? Do you think you’re one of them?

In this episode on the #CultureLeaders podcast, I interviewed Kyle Scheele, an influential Keynote speaker, author, and social media sensation known for his viral TikTok presence, whose creative ideas have been viewed over 200 million times.

What comes to mind when you hear the term “creative person?”

Contrary to how most people equate creativity with an artist, or a dancer, or a sculptor, Kyle Scheelehas a different definition of creativity and argues that it can be found in anyone within your organization.

I met Kyle at the Ovation Healthcare conference, where I was giving a keynote, and he was one of the funniest and most creative speakers I’ve ever seen.

Tune in to the full episode for more insights into harnessing crazy ideas to drive business results and how you can embed creativity into your business.

Youtube: https://lnkd.in/ddUvADJ4

Spotify: https://lnkd.in/dAuBaZEE

Apple: https://lnkd.in/dwAuJEbW