Kiwis are loyal workers – is retention entirely down to employers?

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Researchers have found that New Zealanders are loyal workers – the majority of the workforce wants to stay with their employer for over five years, but it is up to their employers to ensure that this becomes a reality.

According to a new study, two-thirds of New Zealanders want to stay with their employer for more than five years.

The survey – conducted by Hays – had responses from 1,084 Kiwis, with researchers concluding that the onus is on employers to mine that loyalty and keep retention rates high.

The survey found that 66% of New Zealanders believed in job loyalty, and were prepared to stay with one employer for over five years.

Almost a quarter of respondents said they planned on staying with an employer for up to five years, meaning they would be in at least two different jobs in one decade.

Just 11% of participants in the survey said they would like to change employers every one to two years.

“Most New Zealanders at heart do believe in job loyalty,” said Jason Walker, managing director of Hays New Zealand.

“The job for life mentality is long gone, but so too is the mindset of job hopping regularly.

“Today a large percentage of us want to stay with our employer for five years or more suggesting that, for most of us at least, stability, security and loyalty are important.

He added that it was up to employers to ensure they were creating an environment in which employees can be happy for the long-term.

“People want to stay with their employer long term, but they also want their careers to continue to develop and thrive,” Walker explained.

“This means employers need to provide all staff with ongoing training and development, regular reviews and promotional opportunities.

“They also need to deliver what they promised in the recruitment process so that the reality of working at their organisation matches what they promoted when they were attracting top talent.”

Walker added that as long as staff are offered stimulating work and their careers continue to advance, most will stay.

“A lack of career progression is the number one reason people come to us looking for their next job, so we can’t emphasise enough the importance of putting career development plans in place,” he said.

Walker warned that while most Kiwis are inherently loyal, they will move on if their employer is failing to meet their needs – for example if the employee is not offered opportunities to develop and advance, employees will feel “stale and bored” in their role and begin to explore their options.

“Loyalty is a noble quality, but it should not be at the expense of [people’s] career advancement,” he said.

“Employers need to make sure the two go hand in hand.”

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