During a time of high unemployment, it seems odd to be talking about loyalty. But the topic seems to rear it’s head on a fairly regular basis, especially in terms of employment. We hear about employers wanting their employees to be loyal, and there have even been a few posts about how employers should “reward” those employees who choose to be loyal right now — while employers are laying off or furloughing or cutting hours. Reward the employees who choose to return to work, even if they are making more on unemployment (even though the rules around unemployment didn’t really change).
Honestly, I have a hard time with this because employers don’t necessarily return the favor. As above, unemployment is up overall (it’s starting to fall, though with COVID numbers going back up, we may see it go back up). Employers still tend to go to the easiest place to save dollars during a recession, which is getting rid of staff. Salary and benefits tend to make up one of the largest portions of a company’s overall budget, so it’s a quick & easy way to save money.
In May, I wrote about this for ERE. I think as employers, we need to be sure we are taking a look internally and how are we treating our employees before a layoff or furlough. Are we ensuring a strong workplace where they will want to return to? Are we paying a fair wage? Do we really reward loyalty — look at your pay practices, do people coming into the organization make more than your current employees? Do you keep your employees in the know of what’s going on?
Now we are in the last month of the extra $600 in unemployment benefits, with uncertainty about what’s next with employment, with COVID, the economy – some places open, some partially, some closed. I know I will be watching everything very closely. I will be watching who “rewards” loyalty more – the employer or the employee.