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Employees growing disloyal to employers

July 16, 2009  By Greenhouse Canada


Employees growing disloyal
A new study from Ipsos Reid reveals that Canadian employees are
becoming less loyal to their employers.

July 16, 2009 – A new study from Ipsos Reid is confirming what many human resources
professionals had already feared or believed: Canadian employees are
becoming less loyal to their employers. According to recent findings
from Ipsos Reid’s Build a Better Workplace syndicated study, 22 per cent of
Canadian employees are expressing decreased loyalty to their employer.


to one’s employer is very dependant on recognition,” says JB Aloy,
Ipsos’ resident expert on employee engagement and author of the study.
“Staff who feel their involvement is not acknowledged are more likely
to become disloyal.”

This is not just a sentiment found on the ‘factory floor’—a
quarter of executives and managers say their loyalty is decreasing,
showing results comparable to production workers and operators. Across
industry sectors, employees in the manufacturing and financial services
sector—two industries deeply hurt by the ongoing economic downturn—had
particularly negative results.

All this is going on in spite of the current job market. In
particular, organizational responses to the economic downturn have
triggered some employees to question their loyalty. In organizations
where staff cuts were made, 36 per cent of employees feel less loyal. In
organizations where salaries have been frozen, that figure is 31 per cent.

Across the country, the figures are consistent nation-wide, with
the exception of Quebec, where only 10 per cent of the workforce shares this

“Because these results are quite consistent across
sectors, they strongly suggest that employers ought to be considering
what they should be doing now in order to hold on to their key
performers when economic conditions improve,” adds Aloy.
And what are employees saying? Some comments in the survey
indicate that the organization’s leadership can’t just simply expect
loyalty, it must earn it. “Anything I do that is 'above and beyond the
call' is accepted but never reciprocated by management or the
employer,” says one respondent. Others comment, “The firm is not loyal
to me so I feel decreasing loyalty to the firm,” or “They do nothing
for me so I do nothing for them.”

“As workers, all too often we find ourselves considered
disposable. Not surprisingly, our loyalty as employees to the firms
where we work has responded in kind,” says Timothy Keiningham, global
chief strategy officer at Ipsos Loyalty, and author of the newly
released book Why Loyalty Matters. “For us as individuals, constant
economic change means that we feel always on the brink of losing
control. We are forced to live in the moment, and leave tomorrow for
the future. What this teaches us can be summed up in the phrase, ‘What
have you done for me lately?’ This is the antithesis of loyalty.
Loyalty requires a commitment to the future”.

The results were obtained from the Better Workplace
Syndicated Study, an online poll of 1,128 employees in Canada,
completed between May 22 and May 29, 2009.

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