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Human Relations Barometer

Most Swiss employees feel cynical about their jobs

More than half of employees in Switzerland feel cynicism towards their employer, according to a new “human relations barometer” from Zurich University and the Zurich Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). 

A quarter of the 1,506 people surveyed for the study felt their employer had broken promises to them. One in three felt their relationship with their boss and fellow employees was not completely satisfactory. Such feelings led 60% of the respondents to indicate some degree of cynicism towards their employer.

However, 54% of those asked said they felt an emotional tie to their employer, and only 16% said they were seriously considering quitting their job.

"The results show that the situation is essentially a good one in regard to employee loyalty,” said Professor Bruno Staffelbach of the University of Zurich in a statement. 

The barometer also showed that people who feel they are going to lose their jobs are more likely to feel cynical towards their employer or consider quitting. In addition, the discrepancy between working conditions and employee expectations is growing, according to the study, especially when it comes to questions of wages and growth opportunities. 

At the same time, most of the employees surveyed said they only wanted to take limited responsibility for their own careers and wanted to stay with 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,” the study authors wrote.

Their advice to employers for increasing employee loyalty includes career assessments and mentoring, which many companies do not do according to the barometer. 

“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 study concluded. 

For the study, researchers randomly selected 1,506 employees from all over the country using a list from the Federal Statistical Office. 

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