Research - 03.08.2015 - 00:00 

What makes employees loyal?

More and more companies are doing their best to be attractive employers. But are they doing the right thing for everyone? A study conducted by the IFPM-HSG and zeag GmbH reveals what makes employees loyal to their companies – broken down into Generations X and Y, as well as men and women.<br/>
Source: HSG Newsroom


29 July 2015. The Institute for Leadership and Human Resource Management of the University of St.Gallen examined the results of interviews with approx. 16,300 executives and employees from 96 companies in Germany on behalf of the Centre for Employer Attractiveness, zeag GmbH. The companies wanted to find out how highly their attractiveness was rated from the employees’ point of view. Roughly the same number of men and women were interviewed. 26% of all interviewees belonged to Generation X and 25% to Generation Y. The average response rate was 72%.

44% of the enterprises operated in the service sector, 14% in manufacturing, 29% in commerce and 12% in finance, insurance and real estate. From May to November 2014, both employees and key personnel (HR managers and CEOs) were comprehensively interviewed about working conditions and HR work.

Intrapreneurship is appreciated

If employees perceive scope for intrapreneurship, this has a positive effect on employer attractiveness in all generations and among both genders (+30%). A gender-specific comparison reveals interesting differences: for women, active employee leadership is important. Besides results-oriented leadership (+18%) and inspiring leadership (+17 %), healthy leadership (+18 %) also counts. Among men, companies are more likely to score points with a culture of trust (+31 %) and of compatibility of the job with private life (+27 %). *

As the results show, not all too many strategies are necessary for the individual target groups – the expectation profiles of Generation X are very similar to those of men, those of Generation Y to those of women. A glance at the extent to which firms already offer the most important factors that boost employer attractiveness reveals a need for action as regards the extension of intrapreneurship.

The study also zooms in on the negative influences which put employees off. The same destructive forces have an impact on all the groups defined in the study. The acceleration trap (-24%), centralisation (-23%), corrosive energy (-19%) and resignation-inducing idleness (-19%) destroy employer attractiveness. Firms will have to take this threat seriously since the negative impact of these working conditions is comparable to the positive effect of the factors that boost attractiveness.

Good employees are more successful in economic terms
Corporate performance measured among the most attractive employers was 16% higher. Their innovation rates were also 12% higher than in companies that were not perceived as attractive by their employees. The same applied to the enthusiasm displayed by customers: this, too, was 12% higher among the most attractive employers.

In a nutshell: “Good employers are more successful in economic terms,” says Prof. Dr. Heike Bruch, Director of the Institute for Leadership and Human Resource Management of the University of St.Gallen. The better the working climate, the lower the fluctuation rate and the sick leave rate – both factors are of considerable economic significance.

Bild: Photocase/ Simonthon