What is loyalty? Is it continued service to one organization? Or is it single minded subservience to one organization till you resign. Then of course you transfer allegiance to another company and once again you are loyal to them!
It s often customary in many organizations to recognize staff members who have put in 5 years of service or 10 years and so on. Definitely many organizations recognize those who superannuate.
I would think a person should be loyal by action and word when he is working for the company. Once he decides to switch loyalties as it were then it is not proper to expect him or her to continue to be loyal. Of course it goes without saying that the switch is clean and not laden with stealing, fraud or espionage.
The very act of switching cannot be seen as not-loyal. In IT companies it is not unusual to see team members leaving at the end of a phase in the project or when the customers are crying for some blood. Loyalty here is considered violated if someone leaves half way through a project.
Times have changed. We often hear the rant good hands are hard to come by. I suppose it is best to expect that the hands that do come by are good, or can be made good.