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Why do smaller companies have more loyal employees?

Smaller companies foster employee loyalty better than large ones, according to a New York Times Job Market survey – the first in a series of reports on employee loyalty in companies large and small within New York’s metropolitan area.

According to the survey, 88% of hiring managers said that employee loyalty is a very important issue for their organisations. Job seekers are slightly less likely to focus on employee loyalty, with 70% saying it is extremely or very important to find a job with an organisation that engenders employee loyalty.

The survey results suggest that smaller companies are better at fostering employee loyalty than larger firms. While 58% of hiring managers at companies with 100+ employees say their employees are extremely or very loyal, some 77% of those at companies with fewer than 100 employees say loyalty is high.

Job seekers’ survey responses also support the impression that employee loyalty tends to be stronger at smaller companies. Overall, 80% of job seekers say that they have been extremely or very loyal to their previous employers.

Defining employee loyalty
When employers were asked to describe the characteristics of a loyal employee, one hiring manager said, “A loyal employee would be one who steps up to the plate in tough times.” Another stated that a loyal employee is someone “who is willing to walk over hot coals for their company.” When asked which of several qualities best describes a loyal employee, both hiring managers and job seekers agree that the willingness to go ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ is the most important quality. Below is a quick breakdown of survey responses concerning the meaning of “employee loyalty”:

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