I had a conversation with a friend who runs a mid-sized company. He was worried about training his managers because they typically leave soon after.
As I studied 1 Corinthians 3: 5-9 (Message Translation), I gained some understanding into why employees stay with organisations.
I used to think employees remain loyal because they find purpose in an organisation or because their vision aligns with that of the organisation. But from scripture, it seems the primary factor that produces loyalty is leadership.
Many times, employees do not fully understand the vision of an organisation. They can’t see what the leader sees.
It’s doubtful that many employees fully grasped the vision of Apple as it transformed from a technology to consumer electronics company. I doubt many understood the reasoning behind Amazon’s foray into services. Yet few can dispute that Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos are men of vision.
In the scripture I read this morning, brilliant, educated & tremendously gifted Paul said he and Apollos (a fellow Evangelist & Teacher) did the work they did because of their leader – Jesus. They remained loyal, often doing menial underpaid tasks to survive because of him. The picture I got was that if Paul’s job description suddenly changed, he would still be faithful. And so, it wasn’t about the job, it was about a commitment to a leader whose vision was only revealed in phases.
I think people are loyal to a leader they trust; one they believe has their best interests at heart; one who inspires them and provides an example to follow. They will go to bat for a leader who has their backs and brings out the best in them.
That is the kind of leadership we should all aspire to.