Your Loyal Employees

By Will Lukang, PMP, MBA, MASCL

In the age of instant gratification and competitive marketplace, loyalty seems to be a dying breed.   Back in the days when our parents were working, they would work for the same company their entire careers and then look forward to retiring and enjoying their pensions.  At the same time, they would encourage their children to also work for the same company in the future.

These days people have a lot of options and companies are willing to pay a premium to snatch top talents from their competitors.   People are drawn to getting instantaneous reward, be that pay increases, more perks or promotions.   But there is more to it than people just wanting more.  The corporate culture has changed.   Companies used to value people as their most important assets.  As such, they would take the time to invest in them; that included providing pensions for their retired employees.  That has since changed.  The focus has shifted to watching the bottom line.   As a result, employees feel as if the company does not value long-term relationships.  While generating revenue is important, it is equally important to have the right people doing the work.  

So, do we just let those employees who have been with our companies for a long time go work for our competitors?  I would think the answer is a resounding no.  Then, companies should make a conscious effort to keep them. 

Why are loyal employees important to us?

Business knowledge – in most cases our loyal employees are our subject-matter experts.  Although we now live in a technology-driven society, people are still our most important assets. Technology is a tool. Without the right people working with the tool, the tool is no more useful than what it is intended for.  Without the right people who are loyal and dedicated, we cannot sustain the level of service that would, in effect, yield a sustainable level of performance.

Understanding the challenges – experience is the best teacher.  The loyal employees have experience dealing with work challenges and can provide insights on how to resolve the issue.  That is not to say that you would not benefit from a fresh pair of eyes, but experience dealing with the process cannot be discounted.

Talent pool – keeping loyal employees could provide the company with a rich talent pool that could increase its competitive advantage.   Also, promoting from within could increase the employees’ morale. 

In the end, the company would benefit from keeping the loyal employees happy,   because it could help benefit lower turnover and help the companies sustain their competitive advantage.  The main advantage of keeping loyal employees is retention of the proprietary knowledge that would be hard to replace.   As a leader, you must harness the capabilities of your loyal employees and value their opinions.   Because if you don’t they will leave your firm and your loss will be someone’s gain.



  1. Is an employee who has been working for a particular company for a long time (15-20 years) entitled to a salary increase, even if their skills, job responsibilities and work ethic has remained the same over that period of time?

    Basically, is it ok for an employee to expect a salary increase due to his/her “loyalty” to the organisation, even though they have not put in extra effort to better themselves?


    • Dear Dario,

      I apologize for the delay in responding to you. To answer your question, “Is an employee who has been working for a particular company for a long time (15-20 years) entitled to a salary increase, even if their skills, job responsibilities and work ethic has remained the same over that period of time?” Yes, because the person invested their time and effort and stayed and did their job. But what the question is missing an extra equation, as a leader or manager, did you provide the person the opportunity to grow or challenge them to push the limit? If you don’t, then the lack of development rest on your shoulder. We are leader or manager are responsible for foster an environment that encourage people to push the limit and learn new things. It is our job to inspire others to act and help the company achieve its goal.

      Come to think of it, the company can never stay at a static state were people do not learn new things because the business or the way we conduct our business changes. It is my observation that truly loyal employees usually add value to the company.

      Thank you very much for posting your question.


      Will Lukang

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