“Turn around dead-end job”
Most people would like to stay with the company they work for today. For one thing, it’s a lot of work to look for a new job. And it’s not as if everything about their jobs is terrible. But there’s usually one thing that is bad enough for them to want to get their resume back in circulation.
Take Heather who called me today to say that after two years in her job she needed to start looking again. “I love the work I do,” she said. “I just can’t stand my boss.” Or Mike, who told me recently, “I love my boss and the company. I can’t stand the work I do.”
A recent survey seems to concur that employee loyalty is alive and well. Talking to over 2,600 human resource managers in eight countries and over 1,400 employees in the U.S. and United Kingdom, Manpower Inc. concluded that loyalty has actually increased in the past three years.
Some interesting highlights from the survey show that people are most loyal in Mexico, the Netherlands and the U.S. Lowest levels of loyalty came from Japan and Italy. Loyalty sags noticeably among employees with three to five years on the job. Women are more loyal toward their employers (76%) than their male counterparts (68%).
The most loyal bunch seems to be government employees, with the lowest turnover. These employees said “strong teamwork” was the most important force to keep them put. People in service jobs said “open and honest communication” was most important to them. And workers in manufacturing ranked “job interest and variety” as most important.
Loyalty comes in a variety of shapes. Fifty three percent of the employees are “mutual loyalists.” They’re loyal to their employer and believe this loyalty is deserved. They claim their efforts and performance are rewarded with investment from the company.
“Blind loyalists” make up 19%. They are loyal even though they don’t feel the company deserves it. “Mercenaries” make up 6%. They feel the company deserves their loyalty but have none towards it. And “saboteurs” make up 21%. They not only feel the company doesn’t deserve their loyalty and don’t feel any loyalty towards the company, but one in four of these people would actively criticize the business.
The best scenario to make everyone happy is a company that supports strong teamwork, has open and honest communication and focuses on keeping your job interesting. But if that’s not the case where you work, don’t give up hope. You can influence some issues to some degree.
Say, for instance, like Mike, you hate your job but like the company. If you’re like most folks, you’re waiting for the company to fix that. People tell me all the time that it’s their company’s responsibility to develop their career. Management, on the other hand, tells me it’s up to their staff to initiate career development.
If you’re not where you want to be in your company, look around and see where you would like to be. What job does interest you? Why would you be good at it? What job could you create that the company needs? Do you need new skills or education to do it? What would that take? Develop a proposal with all the details. Talk to your boss about it.
Companies don’t want to have to look for your replacement either. A woman told me recently that her company had gotten wind that she was job hunting. They told her how much they valued her and asked how they could make her happier.
There’s nothing better than having a working relationship between you and your company that is mutually loyal. Look at how you can take the lead in turning a dead-end into a two-way street.