Loyalty and love at work

Posted: - Modified: | work

Another post taking off from the Smart Work Jam: One of the participants wondered what I’d say about loyalty. I can’t speak for Gen Y and loyalty, but I do know that I love my work.

Am I loyal? “Loyalty” makes me think of Labrador Retrievers or fiefdoms or frequent shopper programs. I won’t stay with IBM just out of habit. I don’t think of it as loyalty, I think of it as love.

I’m here because I love the kinds of people I get to work with and the kinds of differences we get to make.

It’s love, not loyalty, that makes me happy at work, that makes my voice catch in my throat when I read about the awesome things people are doing, that makes me enjoy reaching out and helping out and making things happen.

I love my work not because of the past, but because of the future.

I may not always be at IBM. It’s healthy to step outside and try different things. But while I’m here, I’m here, and I’m in love.

Companies often wonder about recruiting, engagement, and retention–of Gen Y, of other generations, and so on. People have asked me what to do to get people to feel like how I feel about IBM. I think it isn’t that hard to figure out.

  • Help people explore and make the most of what they love.
  • Connect people with other people who do what they love, or something related to it. Passion supports passion. Watch out for cynics.
  • Help people deal with things they don’t love. Eliminate annoyances, work around them, delegate them, whatever.

The IBM I get to see is different from the company that many people see. I’m going to figure out how to share this amazing experience with others. I may not be able to help everyone (re)discover or strengthen their passion, but maybe I can help a few people, and that would already be fantastic.

Don’t go for loyalty. Go for love. It’s a bigger challenge, but it’s well worth it.

You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com.