What Inspires Us to Be Loyal Employees?

If you love your company and want to spend your career there, you are essentially a unicorn in the job market, but you're still not as rare as the company you work for, provided they deserve your devotion.

loyalty 

(Photo Credit: Candie_N(Welcome Spring)/Flickr)

And there are still companies with devoted, happy employees. Our Employee Loyalty Data Package looked at which organizations have employees with the longest tenures. Some organizations, like General Motors and United Airlines had median employee tenures of over a decade. Eastman Kodak's median employee tenure was 20 years -- an unheard-of number in today's market.

Security Doesn't Hurt -- But It's Not Everything

What inspires workers at these companies to stick around? That's harder to quantify than the numbers proving that they do, but if you look at the top employers on the list, you'll notice that they have a few things in common. Their median pay tends to be on the high side -- over $70,000 per year for four out of the top five companies.

Benefits tend to be pretty amazing, as well. Looking at the top five companies again, 20 years at Eastman Kodak will get you a month of vacation, while 10-plus years will get you between three and four weeks at the other four companies. Even if you weren't totally delighted with your job, it'd be hard to walk away from a month of paid vacation and more than twice the average income of $27,915.

One thing these companies don't necessarily offer is a bump-free ride: Aleris Rolled Products, No. 2 on the list, went through a bankruptcy in 2009, but still their employees report being "extremely satisfied."

It's More Than Just Money

What doesn't inspire loyalty, as most of workers can attest, is merely stating that the company is a family. As Tracy Moore at Jezebel writes:

"Most of us have had our fair share of perfectly s***y jobs/internships with inept bosses working for companies who ask employees to treat the business as if it is their own. Then they proceed to treat employees like, well, family -- a really terrible, dysfunctional family where no one actually likes each other and everyone could die of demotivation."

Perhaps what good companies have in common is just that: they don't ask employees to give more than they get back, either in terms of tangible rewards like salary or less concrete rewards like respect.

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