'Dog-eat-dog' puts paid to loyalty

Aug 11 2003 by Brian Amble Print This Article

More evidence has emerged of the changing dynamic between employers and their workforces. As the job market continues to become more about ‘survival of the fittest’ rather than a ‘job for life’, loyalty is becoming a thing of the past and many people seem more prepared to do things they don’t want to do to stay in the hunt.

Research undertaken in June 2003 by HR and employee benefits outsourcers Black Mountain suggests that more than four out of ten employees would leave their current employment at the earliest opportunity should they be offered a job, for the same financial rewards and job position, but for a ‘better’ employer.

The findings mirror those from research carried out in July by career consultancy Penna Sanders & Sidney. Four out of ten respondents to their survey did not expect to be with their current employer in 12 months' time, while over a third said that they would start looking for a better alternative on their very first day in a new job.

The Black Mountain research, conducted amongst a range of FTSE 100 companies, professional services firms, SMEs and public sector bodies, paints a similar picture of a fluid workforce with little loyalty to their employers.

It also found that a third of us have done something at work that we didn’t want to do in hope of a cash bonus or career progression.

Employee opinions of performance appraisal is also low. More than half of those surveyed believe that bonuses are awarded for subjective rather than objective reasons.

According to Tim Evans, Director, Black Mountain, this tendency towards individuals focusing on their own career progression rather than progression within current employment is only be exacerbated by the knowledge that any bonus received is likely to be at the whim of a manager rather than based on actual performance

"This is often a frustrating and de-motivating experience if you and your manager don’t see eye to eye," he said.

"The days of the loyal employee are dead, the old boy network is in decline and we have all become followers of our own goals, rather than workers for the goal of our employer," he continued. "Perhaps better communication between employer and employee, including more transparent bonus schemes, could be one way to ensure the loyalty of us all in the future."