Some Workers More Loyal than Others

May 28, 2002 ( - Workers are generally still loyal to their employers, but the strength of that feeling varies greatly from country to country and among different demographic groups, a new study found.

According to the international loyalty survey by Manpower Inc., an employment company, the highest loyalty levels were reported in Mexico, the Netherlands, and the US, while the lowest levels came from Japan and Italy.

Workers most vulnerable to sagging loyalty were those with three to five years tenure, the Manpower researchers found. In companies with more than 150 employees, low loyalty levels are most likely to generate employee turnover.

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According to the survey, strong company leadership is viewed as a much more important loyalty driver in the US than in any other country.

The public sector revealed the lowest employee turnover rates, and rated “strong teamwork” as the most important thing producing worker loyalty.

Worker Loyalty Categories

The Manpower researchers divided the US and UK employee survey results into four groups based on their loyalty levels:

  • “Mutual Loyalists”, 53% of employees surveyed, are loyal to their employer and believe this loyalty is deserved. These employees are likely to see their psychological contract as a two-way street, where their own efforts and performance are rewarded with investment from the company.
  • “Blind Loyalists” 19% of employees surveyed, express loyalty toward their company despite not feeling that the company deserves it. To some extent, this segment is expressing blind or misplaced loyalty towards the company.
  • “Mercenaries”, 6% of employees surveyed, feel that the company deserves their loyalty, but they sense no loyalty toward it.
  • “Saboteurs”, 21% of employees surveyed feel that the company does not deserve their loyalty, nor do they feel any loyalty toward it.

The survey was conducted in March and April 2002 and consisted of more than 2,600 telephone surveys of human resource managers in eight countries – France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the UK and the US – as well as more than 1,400 interviews of employees in the US and UK.