Low levels of company allegiance among employees

A survey by the GfK agency in 2011 reveals that Czech workers were among the least ‘engaged’ across the 29 countries analysed. ‘Engagement’ was defined as the extent to which an employee identified with the success of the company, had loyalty to the company and a willingness to remain with the employer. The proportion of Czech employees demonstrating such allegiance was very low, particularly among younger workers – those aged between 18 and 29 years. The survey pointed to a high level of disillusionment among younger Czech workers.

About the survey

GfK is a leading market research agency. Its survey on employee engagement, pressure and stress related to employment, the GfK International Employee Engagement Survey, was conducted by the agency’s Custom Research sector in April 2011. The survey was carried out across 29 countries, and the total research sample consisted of 30,556 adult workers.

In the Czech Republic, 488 personal interviews were conducted with a sample of employees who were considered representative in terms of sector, gender and age. To produce inter-country comparison, the data for each country was weighted by its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and calculating Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). For the purposes of the survey, employee engagement was defined as the extent to which the employee identified with the success of the company, the employee’s loyalty to the company, and their willingness to remain with the employer.

The level of employee engagement was measured as an average score for answers to five related questions. This score was then used to calculate the percentage of ‘highly engaged’, ‘rather engaged’, ‘neutral’ and ‘unengaged’ employees.

Low engagement and value of work

The survey revealed that of the 29 countries analysed, the Czech Republic showed one of the worst results in terms both of the level of employee engagement and the amount of pressure perceived by employees in relation to their employment. Both of these factors can lead to significant problems in terms of human resources management and a high overall employee turnover rate.

The proportion of highly engaged Czech employees was very low, at just 10% of the research sample. A higher score was recorded in the case of white-collar workers, 16% of them being highly engaged. Conversely, only 7% of blue-collar workers were found to be highly engaged.

The low overall percentage placed the Czech Republic behind the other Central European countries in this respect, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Percentage of highly engaged employees

Figure 1: Percentage of highly engaged employees

Notes: Only comparably developed countries are displayed. The level of engagement represents an average score from five questions.

Source: GfK International Employee Engagement Survey

The low position of engagement in the scale of values among Czech respondents was also reflected in the very low level of willingness to move abroad should they receive a favourable employment offer. Only 9% of the Czech sample said they would be willing to leave their home country, the lowest proportion of all the countries analysed.

Disillusionment among young workers

The proportion of engaged employees was, in general, lowest among workers aged between 18 and 29, as shown in Figure 2. In this age group a high level of engagement was recorded, on average, in 21% of cases across all the countries analysed, compared to 31% of those in their 60s. However, this percentage was significantly lower in the Czech Republic, where just 6% of young workers were highly engaged, sharing bottom place in the table with Hungary:

Figure 2: Percentage of highly engaged employees aged 18–29

Figure 2: Percentage of highly engaged employees aged 18–29

Notes: Only comparable countries are displayed. The level of engagement represents an average score from five questions.

Source: GfK International Employee Engagement Survey

According to GfK analysts, the low level of engagement of young workers in the global context can be attributed to a mix of factors. They include disillusionment over a perceived lack of balance between professional and private life, pressure to work overtime and health-threatening working conditions coupled with not being given enough responsibility by managers.

There was just one variable for which the Czech Republic did not feature at or near the bottom of the table – the proportion of employees who were searching for another job. At 27%, the Czech Republic was close to the average.

This fact can be explained by employees’ perception of the labour market in the Czech Republic. Only 20% of respondents agreed that there were always many job opportunities available for them, again among the lowest percentages of positive answers. The average proportion of positive answers to this question across all the countries analysed was 46%.

References

GfK Czech, (2011), Angažovaných zaměstnanců je v Česku zoufale málo, zvlášť těch mladých (560Kb PDF) [A desperate shortage of engaged employees in the Czech Republic, especially among the young], Press communication, GfK Czech, Prague.

Hospodský, R. (2012), Angažovanost zaměstnanců [Employee engagement], Presentation of GfK Czech.

Pfeiferová Štěpánka, Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (RILSA)

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