Employee loyalty may be improving across the board but many US-based companies are still under-performing in areas that are vital to retaining committed and loyal workers, according to the latest workplace loyalty report from Walker Information.
The '2005 Walker Loyalty Report for Loyalty in the Workplace' found that, in general, employees' perceptions of ethics in the workplace remain relatively unchanged from last year, and that the ethics of senior leaders remain in question in the eyes of employees. While employee loyalty is on the rise, US companies still have some way to go in creating the work environment and conditions necessary to keep greater numbers of committed employees. The report says that 34% of employees are truly loyal - an increase of four percentage points from 2003 (up 10 points from 2001).
Truly loyal employees, based on Walker's loyalty model, are those who are both committed to the organisation and plan to stay with their companies for at least two years. Although improving from 2003, workers in the loyalty categories of high risk and trapped still make up more than half of the workforce with 31% and 28% respectively.
According to Chris Woolard, employee loyalty specialist for Walker Information, "Real opportunities exist for companies to close the gap between those employees who are merely satisfied - 75% according to our survey - and those who are truly loyal. Our study of more than 2,500 employees nationwide shows tremendous room for growth by firms in those areas we've identified as driving employee loyalty, such as offering training and development and exhibiting a strong focus on the employee."
According to the company's research, only 41% of employees said their company views employees as its most important asset, and 55% said their company treats employees well. Regarding the issue of the company providing ample training and development opportunities, only a little over half (55%) agreed.
As employers continue to deal with the rising costs of employee turnover, the report highlights the fact that the lowest levels of loyalty are generally found among those employees who have been with the company for less than two years. Only 29% of employees on the job for one year or less are truly loyal. Loyalty jumps to 37% for employees with one to two years of experience with their current company. New employees - often representing the more mobile younger generation - are also the most high risk, with 38% saying they're ready to leave in the first year, and 39% indicating a strong desire to leave in the second year.
The faithful by industry
Based on results from this report, non-profit organisations and healthcare firms topped the list of industries with the highest percentage of truly loyal employees:
- Information Technology
- Financial Services
- Retail Trade
The full report can be obtained directly from Walker Information.