Surprise results from workplace loyalty study

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Employers may sometimes doubt just how loyal their workers really are but, according to one new study, HR professionals can relax – Canadians are surprisingly committed.

A recent survey from Monster Canada found that 74 per cent of Canadians believe it is helpful for their career to stay loyal to one employer. However, on average four-in-10 Canadians have had at least four employers since graduation.  

“While loyalty is viewed as something that could be helpful to Canadians' careers, it isn't always practiced,” says Sheryl Boswell, from Monster Canada.

The survey, conducted by Leger, found that Canadians are mostly split on the ideal length of time to stay at one employer. Nearly half of respondents (49 per cent) believe that 10 years or less is the right amount but 39 per cent say staying for more than 10 years is best.

Interestingly, more than half of millennials (57 per cent) believe that the appropriate length of time at one employer is six years or less while 51 per cent of those aged 55-64 believe that the perfect length of time is more than 10 years. 

"Putting an expiry date on a job is hard to pinpoint," says Boswell. "The definition of employee loyalty clearly evolves throughout one's career.

“For someone who has only been in the workforce for a few years, a decade can seem like a long time to commit to one employer, whereas someone nearing the end of their career might view 10 years as a far more suitable time." 

The majority of millennials (75 per cent) polled say that staying loyal to one employer is helpful in their career – unsurprisingly, that age group is also the most likely to have had only one-to-two employers (41 per cent).

As for those who are nearingthe end of their career, 20 per cent of Canadians 55 years and older report only having had one to two employers but this number increases among older Gen Xers, with 30 per cent of those aged 45-54 having had six or more employers. 

"It appears Gen Xers are paving the way for millennials when it comes to career advancement decisions," says Boswell. "This might be indicative of how employers are now showing loyalty to their employees. Now, employees may not find all that their looking for with only one employer. Getting the most out of a role and moving on to discover new opportunities may be necessary."

Canadians in the younger half of the Gen X age category (35-44 years old) are the most likely to see employer loyalty as harmful to their career (22 per cent and men are more likely than women to believe loyalty is harmful to their career (18 per cent compared to 14 per cent).
 

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