Smart Retention Strategies Depend on Loyalty

October 24 2016 - Retaining key members of staff is a constant concern for every organization but even the best retention strategies depend on the loyalty of employees. A recent survey of 1536 people conducted by Leger for Monster Canada found that three-quarters of Canadians (74%) believed that it was good for their career prospects to be committed to one employer. But, on average four in every 10 had at least four employers since graduation.

According to Sheryl Boswell, Monster Canada's Director of Marketing:

"Loyalty is a two-way street in the workplace. Both employees and employers need to show commitment to one another. While loyalty is viewed as something that could be helpful to Canadians' careers, it isn't always practiced."

The survey revealed that Canadians are divided about the ideal length of time to stay with one employer. 49% of respondents considered 10 years or less to be the right amount while 39% thought that staying for more than 10 years was ideal.

Sheryl Boswell said:

"Putting an expiry date on a job is hard to pinpoint. The definition of employee loyalty clearly evolves throughout one's career. For someone who has only been in the workforce for a few years, a decade can seem like a long time to commit to one employer, whereas someone nearing the end of their career might view 10 years as a far more suitable time."

In fact, 57% of millennials said that the appropriate length of time at one employer was six years or less. By contrast, just over a half (51%) of respondents aged 55-64 believed that the perfect length of time was more than 10 years.

Three-quarters (75%) of millennials in Leger's quantitative survey felt that staying loyal to one employer was helpful in their career. This age group was also most likely to have had only one or two employers (41%). A mere 20% of those over 55 said they had only one to two employers, while 30% of older Gen Xers - those aged 45-54 - reported having had six or more employers.

Sheryl Boswell commented:

"It appears Gen Xers are paving the way for millennials when it comes to career advancement decisions. This might be indicative of how employers are now showing loyalty to their employees. Now, employees may not find all that their looking for with only one employer. Getting the most out of a role and moving on to discover new opportunities may be necessary."

Is commitment counter-productive? Some respondents questioned the value of loyalty. Younger Gen X workers (35-44 years old) were most likely to view loyalty to an employer as being harmful to their career (22%). Overall, men were more sceptical about commitment (18%) than women (14%).

Monster Canada's Sheryl Boswell concluded:

"There are many reasons why loyalty in the workplace may not be important for all Canadians and they might hunt for jobs for a variety of reasons. Employees may be juggling more than one job to make ends meet, or perhaps the work culture just doesn't put an emphasis on it. Overall, these survey results show that Canadians continue to look for jobs that reflect their desire for loyalty as they seek ways to find better in their careers."