Skip to comments.Study: Growing Number of Employees Are Not Loyal
Posted on 09/07/2007 12:34:26 PM PDT by qam1
High-risk employees in the American workplace outnumber those who are truly loyal, according to Walker Informations most recent national study of employee loyalty. Although the percentage of truly loyal employees 34 percent is unchanged from two years ago, the percentage of employees categorized as high risk now exceeds those who are loyal, creating a widening gap for employers struggling to improve retention. The Walker Loyalty Report for Loyalty in the Workplace, examining trends in both employee loyalty and business ethics, reveals 36 percent of employees are high risk a spike of five percentage points from 2005. Based on Walkers proprietary loyalty model, high-risk employees, unlike their truly loyal counterparts, are not committed to the organization and are likely to leave within two years.
Employers are faced with a situation where the number of employees causing a negative drain on the organization outweighs those who are working to positively support it, said Chris Woolard, senior consultant for Walker Information. With more than a third of employees classified as high risk, the results of our study signal concern as to how the negative attitudes often characteristic of this group will affect organizations and their ability to compete successfully down the road.
Loyalty affects employee behavior
This years study results indicate loyalty has significant impact on how employees behave and perform on the job day-to-day. For example, 81 percent of employees deemed loyal (those in the truly loyal and accessible categories) are likely to execute the companys strategy in their daily work, while just 38 percent of those who are not loyal (high-risk and trapped categories) say they will do the same. Similarly, 92 percent of loyal employees indicate they work to make the company successful, compared to just 49 percent of disloyal employees. When it comes to helping colleagues with heavy workloads, 89 percent of loyal employees say they are willing to provide assistance, while just 60 percent of their counterparts will agree to pitch in when needed.
Harder to win loyalty with new employees According to the study, employee loyalty during the first 10 years on the job generally increases as employee tenure rises, but a large number are high risk. Employees with a company for less than one year were the least loyal at just 26 percent, while loyalty was highest (45 percent) for those with six to nine years on the job. After a decade on the job, however, loyalty diminishes. Just more than a third (36 percent) of workers with between 10-19 years of tenure are categorized as truly loyal with the percentage dropping to a mere 30 percent for employees with 20 or more years under their belts. Interestingly, the most-tenured categories (10-19 years and 20 years or more) register the highest percentages of trapped employees with 33 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
Employers show some improvement in factors driving loyalty
The news, however, isnt all bad for employers, who made some strides, according to the studys findings, in the experience areas most predominantly tied to loyalty. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said their employers show care and concern for them one of the leading drivers of loyalty compared to just 54 percent in 2005. Within this category, 55 percent agreed their employers were working to develop employees for the long term, up from 50 percent two years ago. In all, the top experience-based drivers of loyalty in ranking order are fairness at work, care and concern, trust in employees emerging for the first time as a loyalty driver feelings of accomplishment, and satisfaction day-to-day.
Loyalty among Generation Y workers shows dichotomous trend.
While Walkers study reveals workers in their 20s commonly referred to as Generation Y as most loyal with 38 percent, as a group they are more dichotomous with 78 percent classified as either truly loyal or high risk. As the generation closest to retirement, Baby Boomers ranked lower in loyalty with just 32 percent truly loyal and followed Gen Y in the number of high-risk employees with 37 percent.
With the lowest number of trapped employees and the highest percentage of those deemed high risk, the implication is Generation Y workers are confident better opportunities exist, Woolard said. Although there are any number of social and economic reasons for the loyalty dichotomy we see in this generations results, one possible explanation is their view that the imminent exit of the Baby Boomers will spell better positions for them, ultimately making employee loyalty less relevant.
Employees want to have a role in company strategy
A series of questions in the 2007 employee loyalty survey points to employees overall willingness to be involved in company strategy. Having employees involved in strategy development is a key factor in employees embracing it, but only 44 percent indicated they were involved in the strategy. More than 60 percent (62 percent) agreed they are important to the companys strategy which reinforces the need for employees opinions to be heard regarding the strategy. Senior leaders play a key role in the success of the strategy but only 50 percent of the employees felt senior leaders communicated the strategy well and make good decisions. Only four out of ten of the employees felt the senior leaders inspired them.
Employees view of company ethics levels off
While Walkers past studies of business ethics have noted an upward trend in employee perception of company ethics, this years results remain virtually unchanged from 2005. Sixty-three percent of employees agree their company is highly ethical, and 57 percent believe their senior leaders are ethical. The study also shows a clear link between employees perceptions of company ethics and employee loyalty. Ninety-one percent of truly loyal employees believe their organization is highly ethical, compared to just 35 percent of employees in the high-risk category. Similarly, 89 percent of loyal employees feel their senior leaders have personal integrity, while just 31 percent of high-risk employees feel the same.
About The Walker Loyalty Report in the Workplace Data for The Walker Loyalty Report for Loyalty in the Workplace was received in July, 2007 from 2,950 people, 18 years and older, working in companies with at least 50 employees. Completing an on-line survey, the respondents were full- and part-time employees representing business, non-profit, and government organizations. The loyalty report results were weighted according to the June 2007 release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A lot of employers aren’t all that loyal themselves either these days.
You had the right attitude. I will say that it’s very hard to live by that rule if you’re working for the wrong corporation though. I’ve seen a lot of sales people ground up in the corporate blender.
I was downsized recently from a property that absolutely could not afford to lose the manpower but in the upper management’s infinite wisdom, decided that because certain functions had been transferred to the corporate office that it was time to cut labor costs. That this cuts down on the quality of the lives of customers (reduced knowledge base of workforce, drastically reduced hours) AND employees (added burdens, little to no increase in pay) means nothing.
it’s not even REALLY about making money for the company because that would be about pure profit. In many cases what I see is that each mid to upper manager is looking to boost their resume with quantifiable ‘results,’ so they can move on to cushier posts. And the company is interested in showing numbers to stockholders, which in many cases are just part of a vast shell game that don’t reflect the reality of the moment or market.
There’s no loyalty out there and you’re being played for a fool if you think there is any to be found.
One reason I like privately owned companies is that there is at least a CHANCE that they will have created a different ethos and you might actually see a ‘team’ and ‘loyalty’ to reasonable extents.
I’m as pro-capitalist as you’ll find. Well, maybe there are a couple people. Anyways, one thing I noticed about corporations is that instead of REAL profit and growth being the prime mover (as we’re told) what really happens is that decisions are NOT made with the long-term reputation or security of the company in mind (reputation when you’re dealing with customers who have alternatives is pretty important) but stock prices and personal objectives.
Sure, my main concern is getting paid for the work I do but I wouldn’t do a disservice to a customer or the company just to make some more money.
So the execs get to go in front of the stockholders with numbers that may or may not accurately reflect the market or the company’s health AND you get managers who are interested in making a name for themselves then jumping right to another ‘opportunity’ so they can make even more money and step up the ladder.
There are some exceptions but they are usually when the founder is still a strong part of the company’s direction or when he/she is still the controlling stockholder.
If you’ve ever worked in retail or really anything ‘lower level’ that interacts closely with customers, you see how they push these kids to get people to sign up for the store credit card or some other nonsense and it’s the supervisors and the execs who get the bonuses for whipping the employees.
And what do the people (some who really do great jobs selling this garbage) who do the REAL work get (keep in mind they get in trouble and sometimes fired for having ‘low numbers’ for something that really was never part of the job when they were hired or mentioned to them?)
They get a raffle, a free CD or some such nonsense. meanwhile, the person who just told someone else to tell the cashiers or sales associates to get to work OR ELSE gets his next vacation paid for.
At a certain public television network that I was at for about a decade, we essentially got the same stuff for several years and it is probably still going on.
I am glad I am free of the ugly green star man which became the new logo. There are lots of rumors about how that ugly design came to be. Most of them involve a lot of money. That is for another day.
To get a raise there you either had to be a favorite, have something on somebody, or be willing to sue. I was in the last category. The little leader upstairs favored a couple and the rest, like me, really didn’t matter.
I got a little proof of some underhanded stuff going on and after failing to have a reasonable conversation, told him abruptly what was going to happen after I make some phone calls to people downtown that had law degrees and made way more than he did. It was the first time I ever heard panic from him. I had a case and all I had to say was “veteran”.
The last thing he wanted was to be closely looked at. No doubt others past and present would love to know certain things and have some questions answered.
A big one that is one some minds still, even though I have left, is why no one never, ever, no matter what ever can get promoted out to something else. The “leader” started out at the bottom and has apparently forgotten about it.
As as a follow-up, I have heard from friends still there, that no one in house applied for my slot (knew better) and got very few others from outside and it has not been filled. It probably won’t be in the interest of saving precious pennies that the “leader” can claim for himself and do nothing for the working people.
I am so glad I sliced ties with that organization with the way things are run these days. The previous CEO was a great guy and was making good changes which upset some good ole boys. Unfortunately, he died unexpectedly and many miss him. Things went downhill from there.
Things aren’t perfect but they are a major improvement in my new line of work.
My husband has worked up the ladder, ten years after leaving the Navy. He has worked for four different employers. With each job move, he found a better position in which to use his skills and better benefits. He works for himself, in a sense. He keeps his eye on the prize and makes it to that goal by action... not sitting still in one place. It just isn’t in his nature to wait for a raise that won’t be there. In ten years he has increased his pay by about $30,000. He is pleased with his progress.
Sincerely, good for you both. My situation was much different but I don’t want to leave tear stains on the forum so I won’t go into that. :-)
I will say that it would have been much easier to leave my job if not for the fact of sacrificing benefits like the pension. In fact, I believe the job would have been much better if they’d known that people like me could leave. As it was, they knew that, after some number of years on the job, their employees were mostly ‘trapped’ employees. They played a statistical game of employee retention.
I won’t pretend to understand the risks that you took by staying. But everyone must look at their own situation and decide accordingly. Perhaps your former employer has learned a lesson, the hard way.
I hope you still find opportunities, when you look for them. Unless of course you are enjoying retirement.
Retirement scares me, a little. I can’t imagine what the future holds for us. But we’ll get there, one day.
Your #51 contains some great information. Thanks.
Great story - my comment was based on less *technical* employment - but your example is illustrative of *valuable tenured experience* being undervalued by employers.
Thanks for your common sense with a smile;)
When you anticipate a long-term relationship (10 or more years), you naturally have some interest in the long term viability of the place. When you know you're likely to leave (or worse, get laid off) you tend to have minimal interest in the fate of the company beyond the end of your stay there.
I’m as loyal to my company as it is to me.
In short, always have a bug out plan.
Companies keep telling themselves that...and keep finding out just how wrong they are.
Absolutely. I worked one company for two years (management) then went back to sales for another for five years (MCI - a nightmare where they demanded that you bleed orange and rewarded mediocrity). I ended up at UUNET right after Bernie bought it and made it part of WorldCom.
Bernie was a thief but he championed the entrepreneurial attitude and scorned those who ran with the pack. His attitude was 'pay people for what they sell with no ceiling and the good ones will hit it out of the park'. It worked, a few of us earned over a million.
” Frankly, many of those people were professional slugs. They worked as slowly as possible to give the impression that the work was difficult and time consuming.”
Interesting story. I’ve noticed that the “professional slugs” are also the ones who tear more productive workers down through office politics, character assassination and outright sabotage. If they were forced to perform on such a level as the more productive employees, they wouldn’t have time to engage in these destructive practices, which in my opinion, are the only reason these scum manage to survive for so long. They seem to take pride in their behavior. The logic behind that completely escapes me....
BTW, most of the folks I’ve seen who operate like this are liberals. I don’t know if that’s just a coincidence or not.
The best people I ever worked with were conservative Christians and a Mormon. This goes back to how dumping God ruins everything.
Very good. Glad to hear it. Some would have capped you, but they let you earn as much as you could, raising their numbers in the process. That’s smart IMO.
On the lighter side I Googled "loyalty" and came up with the following:
Ol' Johnny was a unique individual, to say the least.
My office mates took all 3 approaches. Bitching my my "clean desk" as a sign that I wasn't "busy". Theirs were piled high with file folders that hadn't been touched in years. Whining to boss that I should get more of "bad" offices as punishment for keeping my engineering work completed up to 7 weeks ahead of the due dates. I did have a case of outright sabotage. There was an equipment shelf missing an upper section. It was a $25 part and would be delivered in 1 week and installed for free by Western Electric. I was sent out of town for a 2 week training class. Upon return, a "senior" engineer in the group had directed Western Electric to "fix" the problem by relocating and recabling the shelf under another shelf in an adjacent bay. That came with a $2500 price tag and a 30 day delivery. I asked my boss "what the hell?". The fix was documented in the office folder and scheduled to be complete before I returned. There was no need to screw it up in that manner. She said he was just "helping me". Sure. BS.
I like to tell people about when I sold clothes when I was in college, making minimum wage (then 4.25 an hour). Working part-time, we were required to sell thousands of dollars in clothing a week. One week, I somehow made the stretch goal amount, and sold over 6K of clothes. I was rewarded with a $20 gift certificate to the store. They took taxes out, so it ended up closer to $16 or $17. Then, they wouldn't let me use my store discount with it, so I was able to buy maybe 2 pairs of underwear with it.
Reminds me of my post on Jim Press leaving Toyota. That was the final confirmation to me that American employees are not very loyal as a generalization. I couldn’t help buy notice Toyota’s replacement for him as President of Toyota USA, was a Japanese person.
Thing is with employees is true wealth is gradually building up an employees skill and experience over decades. Raising their rank one small step at a time, just like in the military. And staying with one company. Like a Karate master, becoming a master over many years.
Why hire an American who you put so many years of development into.. when basically guarunteed at some point they will jump ship. Taking their experience and skill with them.. and worrisome, taking proprietary information with them.
Sure for little companies it doesn’t matter so much. But for great multinational corporations. Btw its not that american corporations are blameless.. not at all. Its a chicken and egg argument about who caused it.
I believe great wealth is built up over decades. Both increasing employees skill and building rock solid brand recognition. And of course research and development building over time, capital plant built over time.
Our B-school geniuses found they could gut companies and ride on the employee loyalty and built up brands for a few years making huge profits. Then things gradually erode.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
How 'bout holding some of those multinational corporations to your "true wealth" standard?
This is what happens when you outsource millions of jobs to the Far East.
I’ve worked the Air Force for over 30 years...last eight as a contractor...and its the same way there with loyalty. In the 1980s...there was a high expectation with loyalty...which it went both ways. In the past ten years....huge difference with no real loyalty. Signs of the times.
I work in security. I've always given 3 weeks notice. Then I usually get asked to leave about a week in. Still get paid for the last two weeks though. Fair enough for me.
I’m not sure what you are saying. Are you saying the companies don’t pass on the great wealth created from their internally well developed employee to said employee?
This is one of the factors I'm talking about for building great wealth. Corporate memory. Think of a longterm engineer at Honda who started right out of university. Say hes been with the company 25 years. His memory and experience is worth a lot, hes 'been there, done that'. Its something that isn't easily quantifiable in terms of value. I see a lot of companies going new trendy management who are relatively new to the business, and especially the unique situation of that particular company.
Building longterm relationships with contractors.. and not pushing contractors to bankruptcy is another and I believe related factor. Squeezing contractors, or switching contractors all the time, is a similiar mentality to squeezing employees and hiring from the outside.
It just seems like workers are thought of more like replacable widgets these days. Eh, if one wears out, we’ll replace it. Employees don’t react well to that dynamic.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the tendency to move many jobs offshore has convinced employees that employers simply aren’t reliable any longer. No employer loyalty, no employee loyalty...
That engineer is exceptionally valuable within the Honda organization where he knows all the corporate relationships and issues. Once booted out of the organization, those intricate details have little value to another employer. If the employer is a Honda competitor, the engineer must be very careful not to disclose proprietary information from his former employer. He can only leverage the "generic" experience with the new employer. That may be a much less valuable commodity.
I'm saying no successful company today would tolerate that kind of slow incrementalism for *itself*, so why should its employees?
It’s difficult to be loyal to an employer who treats the employees like mushrooms.
When they layoff people with 1 minute notice ...
When they make you go through security checks coming and going ...
When they give increases that aren’t up to the cost of living year after year ...
When they decrease your benefits package and tell you that you will have more say so ...
When they tell you it’s raining while they are peeing on your shoes ...
They expect loyalty but give none in return.
Ah I see. Ya it is funny when you think about some of our ADD organizations thinking about something over 20 years! And think of all the latest and greatest management and organization fads that have come and gone just in the last 20 years lol.
Boomers run everything. Everyone else is PO’d and frustrated.
It’s why BRIC / SCO nations are kicking our butts.
This is a concept that is out the window. Too many Employers now a days have no loyalty to employees.... Why the hell should employees be loyal to a company?
Employers lie, cheat your check, do everything they can to cut costs. Instead of hiring someone who knows what the hell they are doing, say in estimating a job, they nickle and dime and lay off good folks. They keep the ones who kiss ass and work many more hours than they are paid for.... Yes men if you will. And don’t let this be confussed with loyalty. There is a huge difference between loyal and being a jellyfish...
I have no sympathy for any company these days. I have bust my ass in the past to keep a job, and what did I get in return? Laid off... No more!
I do my job and if anyone comes and wants to hire me, offering me more, I give a weeks notice and I’m gone...