Recession Makes Canadian Employees More Loyal

March 8, 2010 ( - Almost a third of Canadian employees surveyed say they are more loyal to their employer since the recession, according to the latest survey from global workforce solutions leader Kelly Services.

The survey, conducted between early October 2009 and the end of January 2010, finds that 30% of respondents say the economic downturn has made them more loyal, while 8% say it has made them less loyal, and 62% say it has made no difference, according to a press release. Those workers who are more loyal to their employers attribute the shift to positive management, good company morale, and pay levels that have improved or remained steady, while those who are less loyal blame poor management, low morale, and falling pay.

The impact of the economic slowdown on worker loyalty has been somewhat more negative among baby boomers (aged 48-65) than it has on Gen Y (aged 18-29) and Gen X (aged 30-47), the announcement said. While only 6% of Gen Y are less loyal following the recession, this rises to 8% of Gen X, and 11% of baby boomers.

However, an average 45% of respondents say they feel ‘totally committed’ to their current employer, ranging from 48% among both baby boomers and Gen X, to 40% for Gen Y.

When asked to name the one thing that would make employees more committed to their job, 43% of respondents cite ‘more interesting or challenging work,’ followed by ‘higher salary or benefits’ (18%).

Company reputation is considered ‘very important’ in job selection and retention by 51% of baby boomers but only 39% of Gen Y. In assessing a company’s reputation, employees place most weight on the quality of its leadership, products and services, and employees. Least important are features such as global presence, financial performance, and initiatives aimed at fostering corporate social responsibility.

Forty-five percent of both Gen Y and Gen X respondents are ‘very confident’ in their employers’ ability to be good corporate citizens, in contrast to 39% of baby boomers.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 134,000 respondents, including more than 15,000 in Canada. More results are here

In contrast, a recent survey of workers in the UK found that half feel their mental and physical wellbeing was neglected by their employers during the recession, and 45% say they will start looking for a new job now that the market is showing signs of recovery (see UK Workers, Neglected during Recession, Plan to Jump Ship).