Two-Thirds of Workers Ready To Leave Their Jobs

September 2, 2003 ( - The level of loyalty that employees in the US have toward their employer continues to be low, as two-thirds said they do not want or plan to be with their current employer within two years.

Of the two-thirds who are unhappy with their jobs, 31% said they felt trapped in their current jobs in 2003 compared to 37% in 2001. These are workers defined by Walker Information – the firm that conducted the 2003 Loyalty Report – as working for their employer because they have to, not because they want to.

The other third, or 34%, said they are not committed to their current job and plan to leave within two years.Factors driving such workers away include employers’ failure to provide for career development, a failure to reward good work, a lack of corporate ethics and a lack of fair and fairly applied policies.

Some Positive News

However, encouragement could be found in the increasing numbers of “truly loyal” employees – those workers not only satisfied with their jobs but also pleased with their company relationship – now at 30% – were engaged with the organization and planned to stay for at least two years. This number is up from 24% who fell into the category in 2001.

Walker attributes the increase to greater gratitude among employees just for having a job, a greater emphasis on training by employers, and lower expectations of employers by employees. As Marc Drizin, a Walker vice president and loyalty specialist, said “employees feel more thankful to have a job. They’ve talked to their friends who have been laid off. (But) their employer is still nice enough to allow them to put food on the table.”

Overall, the survey found five main factors having the highest influence on an employee’s commitment:

  • employer care and concern for employees
  • fairness at work
  • feelings of accomplishment
  • day-to-day satisfaction
  • appreciation of ideas.

Particularly higher levels of loyalty were noted among the insurance (40%) and financial services industries (33%). On the other side of the loyalty equation were employees in industries that have had their share of public layoffs and corporate malfeasances: technology (20%) and communications (24%).

Further, looking at the sample as a whole, even among those employee who are unhappy and looking to leave their current jobs, encouraging trends can be found in the 62% that believe their organization deserves their loyalty and the 53% that feel a strong personal attachment to their organization. Additionally, more than half (55%) would be willing to recommend their organization as a good place to work.

This backs up Walker’s contention that employees see relationships and development within the company, not compensation, as most important to retaining employees, increasing commitment and maintaining loyalty.

Results of the survey are based on2,400 full and part-time employees representing business, not-for-profit, and government organizations completed the questionnaire. More information can be found at