There is no loyalty anymore, is there? I hear this from clients on a regular basis. However, I think this is not entirely true. People are not loyal to companies – they are loyal to people.
Here is the issue. According to Lou Adler, 85% of all hires are horizontal moves. This means that people move from one position to a similar position – often within the same industry. A plumbing sales rep moving to another sales rep position with another plumbing company.
Yes, it is a new position – the person is excited – new opportunity – new company – new colleagues etc… but after 3 months or so that has worn off and the excitement begins to wane… I often see that someone has a very stable work history – 5 to 10 years with one company, who changes job and the next 3 positions are between 1-2 years.
On the other hand, if we do a VERTICAL hire – we do need to stretch the person. This is exciting, but also hard work. We take someone – with talent – but who is untested, no prior experience in such a position and offer them a career.
We take them under our wings and train them – nurture them – pick them up when they fall - we grow them. This is where loyalty is created. Personal loyalty – you have done something for that person that no other person has. You have - together - created their career.
Think back – reflect on a position where you were stretched. How is your loyalty to that manager who grew you… You might still feel that you are willing to walk some extra miles to help them - if asked...
Horizontal VS Vertical
The reason why 85% of new hires are still HORIZONTAL moves is because it appears to be a safer recruit. It is also easier to recruit "horizontally". Just look for e.g. 5 years’ experience - similar position - similar industry... Less training required. Less initial supervision necessary. But remember - you have not done anything EXTRA special for the "horizontal" mover. You have walked fewer extra miles together. So when times get tough the horizontal movers find it easier to jump ship….
The trick is for us to identify talent - get them on board - set up a training and nurturing system that can move them along in their career as well as a monitoring system to ensure they are on track.
If we succeed - I believe that we will more loyalty - most likely strong loyalty.