When it comes to your workforce, happy employees produce the most satisfied customers. When your employees’ enthusiasm radiates, your customers and prospects notice. The ROI of a loyal workforce is immense, but the challenge is earning the loyalty of your employees. $11 billion is lost annually on average due to employee turnover as well. So how can keep your employees loyal, happy, and engaged?
First, as a general rule we need to stop thinking of loyalty as an employee expectation but rather an outcome of well-executed leadership. Your employees won’t be loyal unless you help them get there. That being said, it’s important to note that developing a loyal employee isn’t all about money and benefits. Although a competitive salary and perk packages do help, if you want to generate a devoted workforce try these five steps.
Step One: If it’s loyalty you seek, it’s transparency you must practice. Trust is key in developing loyalty. If your employees don’t trust you, then they are always susceptible to wander. Being transparent and open is a great way to build reputable, genuine trust. When you speak your mind and encourage your employees to do the same, the foundation of a loyal staff is laid. Be clear about expectations, be generous with feedback and above all, be consistent. If you’re inconsistent, it can cause your employees to feel anxious about their work future.
Step Two: Show you’re fully invested in your employees, and they’ll invest in the company. Nothing says you appreciate and support your workforce like a powerful and effective training program. Not just initial training either, but ongoing performance support and opportunities for professional development. This tells your employees that you are invested in them and want to give them everything they need to succeed.
Step Three: Employees need a sense of pride and ownership. The goal to achieve loyalty is to get every employee to say the following phrase “I love my job.” How can you get your employees to love their job and fully commit to your company? By giving them full responsibility for their role. They want to feel like they are a part of something big and that they are making a difference in the company. Sometimes, all they need to be loyal is for you to trust them and let them show you how capable and effective they can be.
Step Four: Make showing respect and recognition habitual. In addition to your employees’ need to feel ownership, they also have an untamed desire to be appreciated. The worst thing a manager can do for retention is to let their employees feel taken for granted. To be recognized and appreciated for great work is the affirmation that your employee needs to stay committed to their goals. Maintain gratitude and respect; these practices speak volumes more than superficial benefits, like money or perks, ever could.
Step Five: Create a supportive and unyielding environment. If you’re managing a team, or even just one other person, it’s imperative to develop an open and supportive work environment. Having the encouragement of their peers can give your employees the sense of belonging and support that they need to be fully committed. Likewise, if you’ve developed an open environment, your employees should feel confident enough to voice their opinion, even if they disagree with you or their peers. An employee who just “goes through the motions” and never speaks up, isn’t engaged and isn’t going to be devoted for the long haul. Support open dialogue and even healthy debate, when it’s needed, this allows your staff to express themselves and feel acceptance.
A loyal workforce is always worth the investment and will prove its ROI. Use these five steps to bolster your workforce to be the most loyal and productive they can be.
“Are Your Employees Fiercely Loyal?” by Ladan Nikravan, clomedia.com; “Five Critical Elements to Create Employee Loyalty” by Neil Ducoff, strategies.com.