In the wake of the global economic downturn, more than a quarter of employees surveyed worldwide say that the recession has made them more loyal to their employer, according to the latest results from workforce solutions leader Kelly Services. The survey finds that organizations with positive management, strong morale and active communications have succeeded in making their workforce more engaged in spite of the uncertainty caused by falling profits and layoffs.


The most engaged employees are in North America, where 52 percent say they are totally committed to their job, compared with 47 percent in Asia Pacific and 36 percent in Europe.

A total of 27 percent of respondents worldwide say the economic recession made them feel more loyal to their employer, while only 10 percent feel less loyal and 63 percent say it has made no difference. For younger workers, experiencing their first major economic downturn, Gen Y (aged 18-29) have emerged somewhat more loyal than Gen X (aged 30-47) and baby boomers (aged 48-65).


Many organizations have been through an extremely difficult period but some have managed the challenges in a positive way and have emerged with a new level of trust among the workforce,” says Kelly Services executive vice president and chief operating officer, George Corona.


Key generational findings of the survey reveal that:

·         28 percent of Gen Y say that as a result of the recession, they are now more loyal to their employers, compared with 27 percent of baby boomers and 26 percent of Gen X;

·         43 percent of employees say they feel “totally committed” and 26 percent “somewhat committed” to their current employer;

·         All generations cite “more interesting or challenging work” as the main thing that would make them more engaged with their job, ahead of “higher salary or benefits”;

·         Lack of advancement is the main cause of job turnover among Gen Y and Gen X, while poor management is the leading cause for baby boomers;

·         Corporate reputation is considered a critical factor in job choice and job retention by almost half (47 percent) of baby boomers, but by only 39 percent of Gen X and 34 percent of Gen Y;

·         All generations agree that the most important factor in a company's reputation is the quality of its products and services, followed by the quality of its management;

·         Telecommuting or working from home is considered “extremely important” by only 12 percent of respondents.


“Attracting employees and keeping them productively engaged is constantly among the most challenging tasks for employers,” says Corona. “The survey shows the complex array of issues that impact and motivate employees of different ages. A multi-generational strategy is vital to attracting not only the best talent, but also to fostering a climate that encourages creativity and learning for all workers.”