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Survey Finds Employees Less Loyal Than Five Years Ago

NEW YORK 1/6/2015

More than half of all managers (52%) consider their employees less loyal than five years ago, according to a survey of more than 1,200 executives and managers by American Management Association (AMA), a world leader in talent development. Thirty-seven percent perceive employees to be about the same as five years ago. Only 11% view employees as more loyal.

In your opinion, how loyal are your employees to the organization compared to five years ago?
Less loyal 52%
About the same 37%
More loyal 11%

This trend is even more pronounced among organizations with more than 1,000 employees. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (61%) at large organizations consider employees to be less loyal than five years ago compared to 44% of respondents with fewer than 1,000 employees.

“It seems employee loyalty has declined sharply in recent years among large North American organizations,” said Sam Davis, vice president of AMA’s customized consulting solutions. “Yet understandably, given the stakes, many organizations still seek to make employee loyalty a core part of their culture. When presented in terms of whether or not loyalty is a ‘major focus’ even more companies indicate they value loyalty.”


In reality, is promoting employee loyalty a major focus at your organization?

Yes   20%
No, not a major focus, but valued nevertheless   56%
No, it was never valued nor a major focus   24%

“There are many reasons why loyalty remains a core value at many organizations,” advised Davis. “Devoted employees know the business and focus on the job. There’s less alienation and more engagement. It aids people at all levels, because loyal employees work with the best interests of the organization in mind and help protect the team. Conversely, lack of loyalty can infect an entire enterprise and foster increased absenteeism and turnover.”

Other highlights from the survey findings include:

  • Declining employee loyalty is thought to harm organizations by causing low morale (84%), high turnover (80%), disengagement (80%), growing distrust (76%), and lack of team spirit (73%).
  • One-third (33%) of senior leaders believe employee loyalty has a direct relationship to profits.

Developing a productive manager/employee relationship is the best way to foster loyalty, believes Davis. “Employees first need their basic needs met, such as fair compensation, a safe and non-toxic work environment, as well as opportunities for career development. Coaching, job skills training, and learning opportunities show that the company is serious enough about employees to invest in their future.  Managers should engage employees in decisions about their work and give input into the how, why, and what they do. This will go a long way to help employees become more personally invested, interested in the outcome, and intrinsically rewarded by their work.”

The survey was completed December 1, and respondents consisted of 1,213 senior-level business, human resources, management professionals, and employees drawn from the AMA database of contacts.

About American Management Association International (www.amanet.org)
For over 90 years, American Management Association International (AMA) has been a world leader in professional development. AMA supports the goals of individuals, organizations, and government agencies with a complete range of corporate talent transformation solutions, including public open-enrollment seminars and onsite group training, with both live and online learning capabilities. In addition, an extensive variety of resources are available through AMA, including webcasts, webinars, podcasts, business books, and industry research. Organizations worldwide, including 90% of the Fortune 500, turn to AMA as their trusted partner.

Media Contact:  Phil Ryan, 845-339-7858, [email protected].
AMA is one of the most widely recognized leaders in business training, having provided corporate training solutions for over 95 years. From leadership, communication and managerial training to sales, customer service and analytical skills, AMA has developed a vast array of content and training solutions to help individuals and organizations achieve business results . Each year, AMA delivers thousands of seminars and courses across the United States. With courses offered in a  classroom near you or live online, AMA is a flexible, convenient resource for all of your organization's talent development needs. AMA also offers customized solutions based on your specific talent development requirements.