Are you loyal to your employer? If so, you’re a dying breed. A Randstad study of Canadian workers found that although half of respondents said they had “the perfect job,” 65 percent would leave if doing so netted them a higher salary or offered better career opportunities. Experts say that workers feel less loyalty to their employers even if they offer more money.
“People often think it’s just money, (but) pay is just one of the things the more sophisticated companies would look at,” David Sissons, vice president at Hay Group, tells The Canadian Press.
Sissons says that better opportunities, work environment, management, and work-life balance often go farther than cash in persuading workers to stay and keeping their work engagement high. Still, employers might be struggling against a new normal. During and after the recession, workers were forced to stay in jobs longer (an average of 4.6 years in 2012) than they did 10 or 20 years ago, but a January 2014 CareerBuilder survey found that 21 percent of American workers wanted to change their jobs in the next year — the highest percentage since 2008.
Of course, if workers are less loyal to employers than they were in previous years, there’s also the fact that employers have shown to be less loyal to workers. Twenty-three percent of workers were laid off during the recession, according to data from the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, but 79 percent of workers have a family member, friend, or acquaintance who was laid off during the same period of time.
The lesson was pretty clear: the only loyalty workers can afford is loyalty to their own career. Not surprising, then, that they’d take that to heart and look for the best possible opportunities, instead of sticking it out with the employer they have. After all, it’s unlikely that they’ll be rewarded by keeping the same job for 40 years and retiring with a gold watch.
If you’re an employee, the best thing to do is to keep your resume updated and your eyes on your goal: a career that allows you to continue to grow, whether that means staying put or jumping ship to a new company.
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