The Evolution of Loyalty
Loyalty to self and company need not be either bound by employment or mutually exclusive. Loyalty is a two-way street, and unless a company can prove to employees that it deserves their loyalty, it isn't coming. The gig economy—an environment in which temporary positions or short-term project assignments are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements— is all the rage. Loyalty, from the consumer's point of view, is expressed by a five-star rating and good tips; from the gigger's point of view, it's too soon to call. Loyalty to self is not a zero-sum game for companies and organizations. It is possible for employees to be loyal to a company and to themselves simultaneously. Loyalty is a two-way street, and it must be earned both ways. And employees need not be employed continuously to be loyal, just as companies can extend their appreciation for service well rendered past the termination date.