Where’s the loyalty?

What a sad commentary on organizations and employees these days ("The Brand Named You," July 2012). I’ve worked at the same company for 35 years. I see new hires come and go in a few years. What organizations are—and will be—missing is loyalty to an organization that people who stay longer than three to five years would give.

People who are loyal will do whatever it takes to make their company a success. Nowadays, it’s, "What can I get out of an organization before I move on?" not, "What can I give to an organization?"

But I don’t blame the employees alone; the employer also shoulders the blame. Many organizations find, from a financial perspective, it’s smarter to replace higher-paid employees who have been there for many years with temps or entry-level employees. What they don’t consider is what the lack of experience, time spent training and quality lapses cost them.

What is driving organizations these days is profit instead of customer satisfaction. Profit comes from customer satisfaction. If you put profit first, it’s an immediate reward, not a long-term one. The same goes for employees who flit from job to job. When you’re young, it may work, but it will catch up to you later in life when your job prospects start to dwindle as your salary increases.

This reminds me of a forgotten quote from President John F. Kennedy that needs to be reproduced here, but with a twist: Ask not what your organization can do for you, ask what you can do for your organization.

Thomas Herr
Southampton, PA

Firsthand knowledge

"Improving on Excellence" (July 2012) is a great article about a great institution. I recently became a customer/patient of the Mayo Clinic, and I can attest to the quality of its systems and concern for the patient. What impressed me most about the article was the description of how its system evolved and clearly was not copied from someone else.

As the late W. Edwards Deming said, we need to understand why something works. While there are many key points in the article, I believe the point about overcoming a mindset explains why many organizations fail in their attempts at quality. The Mayo Clinic is a great example of understanding and living quality principles.

Ron Behrens
Tiffin, IA

Leading by example

The article "Improving on Excellence" is inspiring in more ways than one. When the driving forces of an organization buy into a belief and support activities to proceed and succeed, that is when something concrete and substantial can manifest. I intend to use this case study to raise awareness. Thank you, QP, on another fine and extremely relevant article.

Anisha Verma
Los Angeles

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