Uncommited and lacking loyalty - again

Nov 24 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

There's more bad news about the state of relations between Britain’s employers and their workforces. Another piece of research - the fifth in less than three months - confirms that a gulf of trust often exists between the two. This time, market researchers Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) found that 40 per cent of the UK's employees describe themselves as "uncommitted" to their employers, even though although 60 per cent say that they are "committed to their career."

The Global Employee Commitment Report 2002 from market researchers Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), surveyed 20,000 employees in 33 countries and found that globally, more than a third of the world’s companies are failing to get the most out of their employees.

The findings correlates closely with other research and confirms yet again that Britain's bosses have a significant problem on their hands if they want to win the respect and trust of their employees. But although less than half of UK workers (49 per cent) feel any loyalty at all to the company that they work for, the picture is even worse in Japan, Korea and Bulgaria. Fifty nine per cent of employees in Japan, 58 per cent in Bulgaria and 55 per cent in Korea were uncommitted to both the work they do and the company they work for.

In contrast, employers in Israel and Norway have something to shout about. Fifty nine per cent of Israeli and 57 per cent of Norwegian employees feel committed to both their careers and the organisations they work for.

Highlighting the very real progress that many large organisations are making in improving working conditions for their staff, employees from multi-national companies expressed the highest levels of commitment in their organisations and jobs, while those working for harder-pressed small companies showed the lowest levels of commitment.

As far as the UK is concerned, the TNS research is just the latest in a spate of reports that paint a depressing picture of UK PLC. Mercer Human Resource Consulting's 'Britain at Work Survey' found that fewer than 4 in 10 trust their management, and less than half believe their organisation is well managed.

In September, Ceridian Centrefile, the HR and payroll consultancy, and Human Resources magazine, found that nearly half of employees didn't fully trust their employer and almost the same amount again say that they never feel fully appreciated at work. International Survey Research (ISR) recorded similar results with only 59 per cent claiming that they were loyal to their employers compared to the staunchly loyal Brazilians at 79 per cent. Then in October, a survey by recruitment group Reed found that 45 per cent of workers felt that their trust in bosses has fallen over the last year. The figure among managers was even higher at 61 per cent.

According to the TNS poll, the most committed employees in the UK and world-wide are found in education. The least committed work in manufacturing and transport, a fact that reflects the pay, pension and job security issues that have arisen over the past few months.

Splitting employees into different categories, the report uses the TNS Employee score method which measures a range of employee drives and opinions. The four categories of employee are Ambassador, Career Oriented, Company Oriented and Uncommitted.

Ambassadors are assets and speak well of a company and are enthusiastic about work; Career Oriented employees are productive but career led; Company Oriented staff promote the company but don’t care about the work they do, while Uncommitted employees are exactly that: uncommitted.

One positive note to the survey is that the UK employee population is made up of 44 per cent Ambassadors. But conversely, 34 per cent are Uncommitted, while Career Oriented make up 16 per cent and Company Oriented just 6 per cent.

As Dr.Jan Hofmeyr from TNS points out, “by measuring commitment, rather than satisfaction, companies can gauge whether employee values and goals are aligned with work and organisational values and whether needs of both parties are being met.”

Wise words, and ones that UK companies – particularly smaller ones – would do well to take on board.

What can UK PLC do about this? Des Dearlove has some thoughts.

A summary of the report can be downloaded from www.tnsofres.com/gec2002

For more information Mica Quinn, International PR Manager, Taylor Nelson Sofres on: +44 (0) 20 8967 4787 or email :[email protected]