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Loyalty Growing.

Despite a tight job market, the loyalty of American workers is growing. This is the finding of an annual study done by Chicago-based Aon Consulting, an employee benefits consulting company. Unemployment rates have dropped to their lowest level in 29 years. Yet employees remain loyal to their employers. And the most sought-after--highly educated, high-income professionals--are more committed to their employers this year than last.

American workers want to be loyal, but they need their employers to meet them halfway, the study found. Workers are loyal as long the employer is willing to commit to them. The work force is much more competitive, making it almost mandatory for employers to understand and cater to the needs of employees. Employers will have to respond with policies that meet the changing needs of a diverse work force to compete for "work force share," says Dr. David Stum, senior vice president of Aon Consulting.

A critical factor for employee loyalty is for employers to realize the importance of family. "When they recognize that employees are people and not just those in a cubical, that makes employees want to work even harder and stay even longer," Stem says. In fact, 52 percent of employees said their employer did a good job recognizing the importance of personal and family life.

While a company's formal policies are important, the interpersonal relationship with employees and supervisors is critical, Stum says. "Supervisors and managers who know their work force well enough to adjust and accommodate for individual work-life balance needs is a tremendous driver of employee commitment."
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Author:Gatewood, Jennifer
Publication:Risk & Insurance
Date:Jul 1, 1999
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