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On shaky ground: 'They're not feeling loyal'

New IT survey
finds tech workers wary

icon When surveyed IT workers, some of the most compelling results showed how careerists have fared financially in finding new work after layoffs. Check out what they said.  

March 6, 2001
Web posted at: 5:24 p.m. EST (2224 GMT)

(CNN) -- "We are a society that recycles paper, plastic, metal, and now we recycle people."

Those are biting, bitter words from a battle-scarred veteran of the tech world -- and the attitude is hardly an aberration.

"Loyalty stopped," says another, "when companies ceased thinking about their employees welfare and shifted their awareness to the bottom line."

graphic Have you, like many IT workers, become mistrustful of employers?

Yes. Profit rules, the product and employees are secondary.
Not sure yet. Sometimes I feel valued, other times I feel betrayed at work.
No. I don't see such a ruthless corporate stance out there, I'm content.
View Results


They're among the cynical voices heard in a new survey suggesting heightened levels of distrust and disenchantment among the ranks in the tech industry.

Of more than 1,500 technology professionals surveyed in February by, almost two-thirds say they've developed a warier attitude toward their employers and their professions.

The recent spate of layoffs in the industry looms large.

When asked if layoffs have changed the way they regard their employers, 28 percent of the survey respondents said they now assume all jobs are temporary, regardless of what the company in question may say. Nineteen percent said they'd now think twice about joining a company with a history of layoffs.

One of the questions asked survey respondents in its survey was "The last time you lost your job through layoffs, how long did it take you to find an equivalent replacement job?" Click here to see what survey respondents answered.

Ten percent said they no longer trust their employers and will move on as soon as possible to other work, while 10 percent said they're also considering becoming self-employed.

Their outlook isnt entirely bleak, though. Twenty-six percent of those polled said they believe that with their skills, they could always find another job.

Layoffs, however, were far from the only source of discontent.

Forty-two percent of the professionals surveyed said they've been asked in the past three years to take on additional work for no increase in pay. Thirty-three percent said they were asked to work more hours for no increase in pay -- and 32 percent said they were denied an expected raise or bonus.

Thirty-one percent said their companies refused to follow through on promised benefits or training.


"I think the biggest message is that employers really need to do a lot more to engage their employees, because quite clearly, according to this, they're not being engaged, they're not feeling they need to be loyal, says Cynthia Morgan, vice president of content and executive producer with

The cynicism notwithstanding, Morgan notes that not everyone responding to the survey seemed overly embittered by recent experiences.

Thirty-two percent, for example, said that while layoffs were painful, their company made the right choice given the business climate.

They're just saying, 'Well, this is the way it is.' I think when we started the survey I expected to see a lot more of the extreme, she says.

The survey asked respondents how their new jobs' pay scales differed from the wages they'd lost in being laid off. Click here for a look at how the answers came in.

The survey suggests professionals increasingly recognize the need to take their careers into their own hands.

"It used to be -- a long time ago -- that you were born, you lived and you died with a company as a professional, particularly in technology," Morgan says.

"What we're seeing with the new generation of tech workers is that the job is only as good as the professional development it engenders, and you dont expect to stay with a company more than two or three years. I think the economic environment were in has only emphasized that."


Sluggish economy, but recruitment rolls on
February 26, 2001
'Corporate refugees': The biz of being jobless
February 7, 2001
Job cuts rise again
February 6, 2001
The psychology of layoffs
February 2, 2001
A plague of job cuts
January 9, 2001


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