Goldhawk Fights Back: Survey shows employees more loyal to consumer goods than to boss

This is a weekly column by Dale Goldhawk, Canada’s best-known consumer advocate. A journalist, author and broadcaster, Dale hosts Goldhawk Fights Back For You, on AM 740 or at AM740 ZoomerRadio, Monday through Friday from 11 am to 1 pm, in the eastern time zone. Visit his website at

It’s a U.S. survey but I can’t believe the results would be much different in Canada.

A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows that most Americans are more committed to their favorite soft drink than the company where they work.

The poll also showed that a majority of Americans do not believe that companies are doing a good job rewarding loyal employees or customers.

Only 55 per cent of employees said they would stay at their job and turn down higher pay elsewhere. More than 45 per cent of workers would leave their job if offered a 10 per cent hike in pay.

It wasn’t that long ago some bosses were busy trimming the ranks, using the recession as an excuse to dump a few people. Granted, many other bosses, particularly in small business, were just trying to stay afloat.

“Sorry, Barb,” the boss might have said, “it’s nothing personal.”

That’s just about the same answer a so-called disloyal employee might offer after she’s found a better job elsewhere.

How many employees see the stock price of the company where they once worked rise as the company was reported to have cut costs to improve shareholder value. The former workers know how the costs were cut — by cutting staff.

Employers upset by defections need to remember that loyalty can’t be demanded; it must be earned.

Employers who truly want to encourage employee loyalty first need to acknowledge the workers as people.

Employers, get to know employee names. Make sure you get it right. Don’t engage in a desk-by-desk visitation. It’s too much like reviewing the troops. Nobody likes it. Everybody just thinks you’re following the management handbook on employee relations. Do talk to workers. Just don’t make it a big deal. Compliment workers on a job well done. Reward the good ones. Don’t do it with a T-shirt or a baseball cap.

Workplace loyalty is a lot like marketplace loyalty, where the battle to win the hearts and minds of us mere mortals continues.

As consumers, we are harder and harder to convince these days. We’ve been taught to be skeptical and even cynical by the same marketers who are trying to plant that notion of loyalty in our brains.

Too many transactions these days involve machinery and computers. We might like a little of that, as a way to avoid a few snarky clerks and cashiers but it’s tough to be loyal to a brand that we can’t associate with people.

Dale GoldhawkGemini award nominee, journalist and broadcaster, Dale Goldhawk has earned Canada’s trust by his four decades of work exposing fraud and greed in the marketplace. To read more of his articles, go to (now part of the ZoomerMedia family of websites).
Don’t miss Goldhawk Fights Back , on the New AM740 Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.