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Key questions to ask include: Are you simply trying to retain employees (relying on pay and benefits as your key factors)? Or are you working to foster employee loyalty among those who are “emotionally bonded” to your organization?

What's the difference? Why does it matter? Just look at these research findings quoted in a recent Economist article:

"A survey by the Centre for Work-Life Policy, an American consultancy, found that between June 2007 and December 2008 the proportion of employees who professed loyalty to their employers slumped from 95% to 39%; the number voicing trust in them fell from 79% to 22%. A more recent survey by DDI, another American consultancy, found that more than half of respondents described their job as 'stagnant', meaning that they had nothing interesting to do and little hope of promotion. Half of these 'stagnators' planned to look for another job as soon as the economy improved."

The responsibility lies on both sides of the table -- sure, employees should work hard, engage with the organization and their jobs, etc. -- but the majority will not do that unless management steps up and creates a work environment in which employees WANT to engage.

Derek – Thanks for the comment with the stats. It is really important to create an environment where people want to be so that they’ll stay when the job market improves.

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