Firms can thank crisis for more loyal workers: global survey

Americans are the most engaged employees, says the study. (SUPPLIED)

It may have hammered many a company's balance sheet, but the global financial crisis has made more than two out of five employees feel totally committed to their employer, a global survey showed.

The survey, conducted by international employment firm Kelly Services in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, also found companies with positive management, strong morale and active communications succeeded in making their workforce more engaged despite the uncertainty caused by falling profits and layoffs.

Respondents cited "more interesting or challenging work" as the main reason that would make them more engaged in their job, ahead of higher salaries and more benefits, the survey showed.

"Many organisations have been through an extremely difficult period but some have managed the challenges in a positive way and have emerged with a new level of trust among the workforce," Kelly Services CEO George Corona said in a statement.

The annual Kelly Global Workforce Index polled about 134,000 people in 29 countries from October to January.

It found 43 per cent of employees said they felt "totally committed" to their current employers and 26 per cent felt "somewhat committed".

A total of 27 per cent, or more than a quarter, of respondents worldwide said the economic recession made them feel more loyal to their employer, while only 10 per cent felt less loyal and 63 per cent said it has made no difference. Slightly more Generation "Y" workers, or those aged between 18 and 29 years, said the downturn had made them more loyal than Generation "X" employees – 28 per cent compared to 26 per cent.

The survey also showed the most "engaged" employees were in North America, where 52 per cent say they are totally committed to their job, compared with 47 per cent in Asia Pacific and 36 per cent in Europe.

When considering whether to remain in or quit their job, younger workers have a much greater interest in the possibility of career advancement. Older workers predominantly focus on the quality of management, according to the poll.

The survey also found all generations are watching closely how organisations manage their corporate reputation, a major factor on deciding whether to stay or leave.

"Attracting employees and keeping them productively engaged is constantly among the most challenging tasks for employers," Corona said.

"A multi-generational strategy is vital to attracting not only the best talent, but also to fostering a climate that encourages creativity and learning for all workers.


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