Financially, our employees may be better off not being so loyal. Recent job switchers in the United States were paid 7.6 percent more than a year earlier – compared to the increase of just 5.6 percent for job stickers. Australia has a similar story.
Pre-pandemic figures show a causal correlation between higher rates of job hopping and faster wage growth. And post-pandemic, with the labor market shifts and the Great Resignation, we know well the value of employees who stay.
Post-pandemic, with the labor market shifts and the Great Resignation, we know well the value of employees who stay.
Loyalty, viewed through the prism of reciprocal expectations, holds a virtuous status.
Based on equal relationships, reciprocity is almost an automatic reaction, a moral imperative founded on social expectations that good deeds should be repaid. But that is outside of work.
It is elusive. We label it employee loyalty, but really what we seek is tenure, commitment and engagement. As for loyalty bonuses, it is a guise. Instead, call them what they are, retention bonuses. If they were based on loyalty, you wouldn’t have to pay for it.
So, is it fair to expect employee loyalty when we can’t deliver it back?
Let’s face it. The employer–employee relationship is transactional. When cost-cutting comes into play, even with sentimentality, affection and attachment, loyalty to employees is rarely on the balance sheet.
Instead, how can leaders foster a culture to promote tenure and engagement and, if we are lucky, capture the gift of employee loyalty?