Wednesday, March 5, 2014

On loyalty and fear.

Yesterday I wrote a pretty caustic post about the shortage of raises and the surfeit of reasons why there are no raises.

What's really happened in our industry isn't about money, I think. It's about loyalty.

For whatever reason the notion of loyalty symbiosis has crumbled.

You are meant to be loyal to your company.

But your company doesn't return the courtesy.

You see this every night around 8 when people are still in the office.

You see it on weekends when you get 37 emails from people working.

You see it repeatedly from people pushing hard to make work better and thereby help the agency and the client they work for.

What you don't often see, I think, is reciprocation.

Where good effort is rewarded with good treatment.

Or people are treated with kindness.

I have been with Interpublic shops for nearly 15 years. Most of those years in very senior capacities. Would it have killed my agency to reassure me or my wife when I was hospitalized last summer? To admonish me to take the time off that I needed?

Maybe that's old-fashioned.

It's something I search for because I am a child of a different, kinder era.

But I think when the book is closed on the "new Gilded Age" of the late 90s, the Oughts and the teens, historians will talk of the balance of power tilting far in the favor of capital and away from labor.

I think such a bias is short-sighted, mean-spirited and ultimately costs more than treating people well.

Loyalty is a two-way street.

Otherwise it's not loyalty.

It's fear.

And no good comes of fear.

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