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Well at Work

Loyal Workers Earn More

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It pays to stand behind your employer. Michigan State University researchers surveyed over 10,000 eastern European workers and while worker loyalty bolsters a business’ bottom line by lowering turnover costs, they found that employees benefit as well by earning more money.

In the United States, where it’s common for workers to switch jobs and where companies and entire sectors are downsizing, popular perception is that it doesn’t make sense for employees to be loyal. But not so, say the study’s authors. “We know that firms realize financial gain from loyal workers, but we wanted to know if they share those benefits with the workers,” said the study’s lead author. “And among the more than 650 workplaces included in our study the answer is yes, they are sharing the wealth.”

Loyalty was measured in three ways: by workplace seniority, whether the employee would turn down an offer of slightly more money to change jobs, and whether the employee was committed to and engaged with the company—did they buy into the company’s mission even when it was outside their job responsibilities. In some countries, the contribution of loyalty to earnings was equivalent to the contribution to earnings that come with an additional year of experience. Interestingly, praise from supervisors wasn't always positively linked to worker loyalty.

“If Western managers come in and start offering them praise, telling them they’re doing a great job and so on, it might not have that big of an effect,” reports the author. “Managers might have more success by offering the workers a chance to learn new skills, which can contribute to their sense of better job security or desire for more job autonomy, all of which were positively linked to loyalty in our study.”

Visit www.CorePerformance.com/work for more on employee loyalty and wellbeing.

Tags: Work

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