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Loyalty to Manager v/s Organisational Loyalty : Is there a priority ?

Source | LinkedIn : By Anshumal Dikshit

I often wonder and I am sure some of you may have also thought about what is more important at work :Loyalty to the manager or to the organisation ?

My manager is the one who hires me, may talk about organisation vision and goals and I get influenced and motivated to join. Is it the organisation that pulls me to join or is it the manager’s selling skills ? Arguably both. If I were to segregate the two, I join a brand and my manager is just a representative. The Manager may be the owner , the CEO , a Leader or just a Manager and this in turn defines the vision and passion he carries. At times people join people irrespective of the organisation and thats the trust factor.

Organisational loyalty is a derivative of perceived organisation brand, work challenges, individual perception of growth opportunities, work culture and policies, to name a few. Basis some studies on correlation between organisation loyalty and retention, it may be inferred that employees with a high loyalty to the organisation may stay longer with the organisation. Its equally interesting to note that loyalty to the manager may also result in employees staying for long with the organisation.

This brings us to another interesting paradigm – some managers promote employee alignment to self and they are more comfortable working with such employees. I have seen instances where employees are so closely aligned that they even imitate the style of the manager ! This falls under a continuum – employees who see the manager as a role model and are greatly aligned, to employees who are greatly aligned with the organisation. And at times the manager may not even be a role model but the alignment does exist ! This gets manifest in the form of complete loyalty – whatever the manager says is the best viewpoint without being challenged by the employee – a situation of a completely compliant behaviour. This tends to become dys-functional over time since the manager may not get a healthy challenge to his viewpoint – the relations ship thrives but the organisation may suffer.

An employee committed to the organisation will always have a larger organisational interest foremost in his mind – he will no doubt be aligned to the manager for the “ role relationship” and not be a blind follower at a personal level.

I have seen organisations reaching a certain level and not growing beyond because new viewpoints are not coming through. The challenge in the culture does not exist – the manager does not accept new challenges and people who challenge are not managers !

The learning is to find a healthy balance between loyalty to the manager and the organisation. The bottom line is that the manager should also be made aware of this or he is  introspective enough to make changes in his behaviour!

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