Reduced employee loyalty is costly to companies, but it appears that too many of them aren’t taking this seriously.
In an article for Workforce, American Management Association vice president Sam Davis reports on a new AMA research study showing that 52 percent of managers “see their employees as less loyal than five years ago.” He further notes that this perceived reduction carries negative costs: “A lack of loyalty can clearly be detrimental and result in loss of trust, higher absenteeism and turnover, shoddy work, gossiping, the formation of cliques and, in extreme cases, incite a mutiny.”
The December 2014 study included survey responses from some 1,200 North American executives, managers, and human resources professionals.
Unfortunately, the AMA study also suggests that a lot of employers aren’t taking the cultivation of employee loyalty very seriously. According to Davis, “One in five respondents said ‘yes,’ loyalty is a major focus at their organization. Some 56 percent said ‘no, not a major focus, but valued nevertheless’ and only 24 percent reported ‘no, it was never valued nor a major focus.’
Davis aptly states that “(e)mployees first need their basic needs met, such as fair compensation, a safe and nontoxic work environment as well as opportunities for career development.” Hallelujah! While it may be obvious that treating workers with dignity is the first step toward developing a loyal, engaged, and productive workforce, it doesn’t hurt when organizations such as the AMA repeat this obvious truth in hopes that maybe someday it will sink in to more of their members.
The other day I found myself grimacing at the cover headline of the current issue of The Economist newsmagazine, which blared “Watch out — The world is not ready for the next recession.” For so many workers, the recession that bubbled up in 2007 and hit with a vengeance in 2008 has yet to end. Here in America, the stock market has rebounded handily, but the labor market has never fully recovered all the good jobs that were lost, and compensation levels remain flat.
During this time, many corporations have continued to pay their top executives generously, often with hefty bonuses added on, and their wealthiest shareholders have done well too. In the midst of this growing gap between the most fortunate and everyone else, can it come as any surprise that a lot of workers aren’t exactly feelin’ it towards their employers?