Swiss employees do not hold back on cynical behavior

October 12, 2016

This year's Swiss Human Relations Barometer focuses on the main discussion topic of "loyalty and cynicism" and cynicism, - a negative, even derisive, attitude that employees develop toward their employers. "The results show that the situation is essentially a good one in regard to employee loyalty," says Prof. Bruno Staffelbach of the University of Zurich. 54 percent of employees feel emotional ties to their employer and only 16 percent are seriously considering resigning. Nonetheless, every fourth employee regards some promises made by the company they work for as having been broken and every third person is not fully satisfied with their relationship to their superior and with their co-workers. "As a result, 60 percent of employees manifest cynical behaviour toward their employer by, e.g., making deprecatory comments," according to Staffelbach.

Companies can take steps to combat the development of cynicism

"Companies can take steps to combat the development of cynicism and promote loyalty among their employees," Prof. Grote of ETH Zurich observes. Employees who perceive their employers as loyal are more motivated to remain and show less cynicism. Moreover, job security plays a major role. Those who fear that they will soon lose their job are more likely to develop a cynical attitude or show corresponding behaviour and play with the idea of resigning from their job. However, according to Prof. Grote, a certain dose of cynicism can also help in addressing grievances and in maintaining a healthy distance from the company.

Discrepancy between work conditions and expectations grows

In addition, the Human Relations Barometer trend analysis shows that the discrepancy between work conditions and expectations, especially in regard to wages and the opportunity to develop, is growing. In order to better prepare employees for uncertain times, companies should promote the financial security and above all, the employability of those so affected. However, the necessary measures for systematic career planning, such as career assessments or mentoring have still not been taken by many companies.

Little initiative to take charge of one's own career

In regard to career orientation, the survey shows that employees only wish to take limited responsibility for their own careers. While most do not expect their company to plan and further their careers for them, they nonetheless want to stay at one company for a long time. The necessity to deal with uncertainty and in some circumstances to even be able to use it to one's advantage, is something that is not recognized by a large and even growing number of employees. If companies want to change these circumstances, then they must choose fundamentally new approaches in human resource development. Taking the initiative for one's own career can only be promoted by measures that focus on the career opportunities and needs of employees rather than those that primarily serve the interests of the company.

The Swiss Human Relations Barometer

The Swiss Human Relations Barometer gathers data on how Swiss employees experience their work situation. For example, surveys have been conducted on the following themes: Mutual expectations and proposals of employees and employers as an aspect of the work relationships (psychological contract), practices in human resource management such as job design and personnel development, leadership, job satisfaction, employability and career orientation. This survey is regularly put out and edited by Prof. Gudela Grote, Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at ETH Zurich and Prof. Bruno Staffelbach, holder of the Chair for Human Resource Management at the University of Zurich.

The basis of the 2016 Human Relations Barometer was a survey of 1506 employees based on a random sample registry of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO). The survey took place between March and June 2016 in the German, French and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland. The current edition focuses on the main discussion topic of loyalty and cynicism.

The 2016 Human Relations Barometer was made possible with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).
-end-
Information about the Yearbook

The report can be downloaded electronically at http://www.hr-barometer.uzh.ch or http://www.hr-barometer.ethz.ch. Gudela Grote and Bruno Staffelbach (Eds.): 2016 Swiss Human Relations Barometer: Loyalty and Cynicism. Zurich 2016. University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. ISBN 978-3-033-05885-9.

University of Zurich

Related Employees Articles from Brightsurf:

How initiatives empowering employees can backfire
Strategies meant to motivate people in the workplace may have unintended consequences -- depending on who's in charge.

Some employees more likely to adhere to information security policies than others
Information security policies (ISP) that are not grounded in the realities of an employee's work responsibilities and priorities exposes organizations to higher risk for data breaches, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Covert tobacco industry marketing tactics exposed by former employees
Tobacco companies use covert marketing tactics and exploit loopholes in Australian tobacco control laws to promote their products despite current tobacco advertising bans, finds new research from University of Sydney and Cancer Council NSW.

How employees' rankings disrupt cooperation and how managers can restore it
First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado, second prize a set of steak knives, third prize you're firedĀ».

Employees less upset at being replaced by robots than by other people
Generally speaking, most people find the idea of workers being replaced by robots or software worse than if the jobs are taken over by other workers.

Some LGBT employees feel less supported at federal agencies
Workplace inequality is visible when it involves gender and race, but less so with sexual identity and gender expression.

Workplace interventions may improve sleep habits and duration for employees
Simple workplace interventions, like educating employees about the importance of sleep and providing behavioral sleep strategies, may produce beneficial results, according to a new review.

To keep the creative juices flowing, employees should be receptive to criticism
Though most firms today embrace a culture of criticism, when supervisors and peers dispense negative feedback it can actually stunt the creative process, according to a new study co-authored by Yeun Joon Kim, a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

How a positive work environment leads to feelings of inclusion among employees
Fostering an inclusive work environment can lead to higher satisfaction, innovation, trust and retention among employees, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

How susceptible are hospital employees to phishing attacks?
A multicenter study finds high click rate for simulated phishing emails, potential benefit in phishing awareness training.

Read More: Employees News and Employees Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.