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Are engaged employees remaining loyal to their employers? Are loyal employees really engaged?

Are engaged employees remaining loyal to their employers? Are loyal employees really engaged?

Loyalty vs. Engagement

Are engaged employees remaining loyal to their employers?
Are loyal employees really engaged? If so, how engaged are they?

Engagement and loyalty have definitely changed over the past two years in light of the economic challenges and massive layoffs that occurred. While the working survivors thank their lucky stars to still be employed, the new work environment prompted many to rethink their priorities and refocus on what would be the best way to thrive in a recovering job market.

Research from Towers Watson’s latest “Global Workforce Study” (a biennial survey of employee attitudes and workplace trends) revealed that 51 percent of employees believe there are no advancement opportunities within their current jobs, and 43 percent believe the only way to advance their careers is to switch to another employer.

Is everyone ready to jump ship for greener pastures? Evidently not, as 81% of survey respondents said “a stable and secure position” was a key factor in the evaluation of their career path. The economic changes influenced many to focus on a longer-term commitment to their employers in return for job security. It now appears the workforce is ready to settle in for an extended period of time. How does that translate from a management perspective? The questions employers must now address are: is “settling in” the same thing as being engaged? And just how engaged is the new level of engagement?

The Human Capital Institute and Development Dimensions International’s April study revealed only 14 percent are “fully engaged.” Further, three quarters of management stated concerns about retaining the “new loyals” once the recession ends and returning to the once dreaded search for hungry, new talent.

So, from a management perspective, which version of the old adage applies? If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it…or, if you don’t fix it, it might break? Whatever side of the coin you view it from, one thing is certain…the new wave of employee-thinking is a desire for stability in return for productivity.

Which brings us full circle to the role of recognition – rewarding and motivating the new “new loyals” and turning them back into fully engaged, highly motivated, productive employees through meaningful recognition experiences.

Sign up for CSI webinars and see how STARS Service, STARS Performance and SPOT Recognition will help with engagement in the post-recession economy.