Employee Commitment at Work – Switzerland

Posted on 04 June 2008 by ThomasP

Contrary to perception, many employees and executives are ready and willing to commit themselves more fully in their companies. A study from consultancy Towers Perrin, which sampled 86,000 employees in 18 countries and examined motivations showed several surprising results. Within the overall study, 1000 people were interviewed from Switzerland during the 2007-2008 period, coming from companies ranging from 250 to 10,000 employees across different sectors of the economy.

The first myth dispelled by the study was that the employee motivation is principally dependent on the attitudes of and the employee’s relationship to direct line management.

The study found rather that the general management culture and organizational factors were preponderantly important. When the general management of a company is sound and sets an example showing it is sincerely concerned with the well-being of employees, this has a very strong influence on employee commitment to work and Employment opportunities - jobs - in Lugano, Switzerland

to the company. The study stresses that this is accomplished through acts and not by empty speeches.

In Switzerland, a major expectation of employees and executives was found to be management receptivity to new ideas, followed by a perceived influence on the decision making process in one’s domain of activity. In Switzerland, the perception of management preoccupation with employee’s well-being came in eighth place, Employment opportunities in Lugano, Switzerlandbehind such factors as rapid management reaction and clear management commitment to long term goals, reputation for financial stability and ability of management to elicit enthusiasm from staff.

The study grouped staff into 4 categories, from most committed to least committed. Switzerland had the highest rate of very committed staff (23% against 21% global average for the study). Switzerland also registered the highest rate of committed staff (50% against 41% for the global average). For Human Resources professionals its these two upper categories of ‘very committed’ and ‘committed’ on which they have to concentrate their efforts to retain and reinforce loyalty. The two lower categories of ‘disengaged’ and ‘very disengaged’ are considered as already lost by the HR professionals behind the study. HR services are advised not to spend excessive time on these two categories as much effort will wasted for few returns.

The study measured employee loyalty to the company by asking respondents if they intended to leave their current employment and if they were actively seeking another job. Among workers in Switzerland, the loyalty rate was very high: 38% of the employees polled had no intention of leaving their company, a figure much higher than the 33% global average. 37% responded that they were not looking to leave their job but would take into consideration another offer, for example from a headhunter. 11% responded that they were seeking another job.

The study points up to Swiss corporate Human Resources professionals that roughly half of employees working in Switzerland fall into the critical category of potentially leaving, lured by a more interesting opportunity elsewhere. Company HR needs to concentrate its attention on this pool to stave off exacerbated problems due to the penury of qualified personnel in Switzerland.

In Switzerland, the factors that explain the level of company loyalty are: satisfaction with and understand of company management decisions, possibilities for career development, and a good working relationship with the different departments within the company.

Another myth exploded by the study is that executives and workers in Switzerland are reluctant to devote themselves more to the company and are primarily motivated by salary. The study shows rather employees are ready to invest themselves more fully in a company if they feel a return for this investment, and that the return does not have to be financial, but can be in the form of vocational training or career advancement.

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