The Inside Scoop

By John J. Tassoni, Jr.

Is loyalty on the verge of extinction?

We all know that loyalty plays a key role to being successful in business, in personal relationships, and to being happy in general, but how evident is it these days?

The answer is probably, “not much.”

Just take a look at some of the way that loyalty has lost its standing in recent years.

Job loyalty for starters. Gone are the days where people stayed in one job, at one place, for the duration of their working careers. Downsizing, cutbacks, and outsourcing have certainly added to this trend. Baby Boomers hold about 10 different jobs during their careers; millennials will hold even more. They will come and go sometimes without even knowing their co-workers’ names.

There are many things missing in today’s business environment, not the least of which is the reciprocal loyalty between a company and its employees. Employee/employer loyalty is rarely mentioned in any business plans or management discussions because there is no perceived need for anything of its kind.

How about the bonds of friendship that last through thick and thin? Not so much anymore.

In the book, “Why Loyalty Matters,” by Timothy Keiningham and Lerzn Aksoy, they write: “the number and quality of friendships for the average American has been declining since at least 1985. In fact, 25 % of Americans report having no close friends in whom they could confide things that were important to them. And the average total number of confidants per person is only two.”

Social media has also been a factor, replacing friendship with devices. We now communicate through texts, memos and posts rather than in person or by phone. Often times, we don’t even know who the person is that we are responding to.

Then there is decline in consumer loyalty. These days, buyers jump brands and services as often as they change shirts. No longer do people stick with one brand of laundry detergent or one make of car.

Loyalty has become a casualty of modern society and yet, no one seems to be that concerned, until the eroding impact of the lack of loyalty affects them, and you’re left picking up the pieces. The question then becomes, where has all the loyalty gone?

It is locked away somewhere in-between “what’s in it for me?” and “why did this happen?”

As a generation of quick decisions and instant gratification, we seem to have lost all sense of loyalty.

Perhaps we should start there, and think about how to keep loyalty intact, before it all caves in.