Leadership

Why Employee Loyalty is Declining

Today's workers don't necessarily want career positions. Still, there are things smart employers can do to retain the best

Written by Benefits Canada Staff

The days of employees spending years with the same employer before heading into retirement may be a thing of the past in Canada.

The Randstad Workmonitor study finds that although 56% of Canadian employees state they have the perfect job, 65% would leave their employer at any moment in time.

The survey found that most Canadians would be willing to leave their employers for more money (75%) or to improve their career opportunities (70%), or if they found a job that was a better match with their educational background (58%).

Read: 3 Principles of a Successful Retention Strategy

Globally, the majority of the results are in line with Canada, as 75% of global respondents would leave their employer if they were presented with the opportunity to make more money elsewhere; 69% would change jobs to improve their career opportunities, and 59% would make the switch if they found a job that better suited their education.

“We often associate low levels of employer loyalty to gen Y workers, but today, more and more employees, regardless of age, view themselves as €˜free agents’ who must actively manage their own careers and who know what they are worth on the market,” says Shannon Young, HR manager with Randstad Canada. “They work on maintaining cutting-edge skills and often don’t feel any remorse about jumping ship if another job offers better pay or more growth opportunity.”

She adds that employer loyalty is a very real issue that cannot go ignored and the consequences of losing top performers can be dire.

Read: Secrets of Canada’s Smartest Employers

“Every departing employee costs an organization money—a combination of recruiting costs, training time and lost productivity as co-workers and supervisors pitch in during the transition,” Young explains. “It’s no question that having a loyal workforce will have a direct impact on business success.”

But employer loyalty isn’t dead, she says.

Employees view loyalty as something their employer must earn. To make them want to stay, they’ll need to be treated fairly, have plenty of opportunities to learn and develop, and be given responsibilities and projects that truly match their abilities and ambition.

While losing top talent is a very real and growing issue for employers, it’s still possible to retain skilled workers in today’s competitive environment.

“Employers must continually review employee salaries and make sure they are competitive,” states Young. “Employers that are proactive in providing employees with opportunities to grow and develop all year long will have an edge when it comes to retaining their best talent.”

This article originally appeared at BenefitsCanada.com.

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