How to Increase Employee Loyalty

Employee Loyalty - 2 Business Women having a conversation

Whoever said loyalty couldn’t be bought was clearly correct (or mostly correct anyway) – as evidenced by the recent spikes in employee resignations across industries.

Now here’s the big shocker – employees are no longer only looking for a big paycheck to keep them in place. Instead, they demand respect, flexibility and a better sense of value.

But before looking at ways to increase employee loyalty and combat the effects of The Great Resignation – it is important that you first establish what the term loyalty means to you and your business.

For instance, does it mean employees speaking positively about your company? Or rejecting your competitors’ offers? Or wanting to continue working for you for the foreseeable future?

Whatever the case, employee loyalty is a rare quality, and it is often evident whether you have it or not by your retention and engagement rates.  

Factors that often dampen employee loyalty are: 

  • Ineffective Leaders: 

There’s a famous saying that people leave their leaders, not companies, and research supports that. On average, around 57% of employees in the US leave their jobs because of their leader, while 32% seriously consider resigning because of a leader. 

  • Disengagement

A disengaged employee does not put their heart into their work. They show up, do the bare minimum, and often cannot wait to get home. If these employees receive offers from other companies, they will often jump ship without a second thought. The tricky part of this is understanding what causes the disengagement. Disengagement is often a symptom of something else, and understanding the root cause is important. 

  • No Growth or Development Opportunities: 

Even relatively loyal talent begins to look elsewhere if there is no room for career advancement, particularly if this is something that is important to them. Few people want to be stuck at the same job, but unfortunately, many promotion programmes don’t reward loyalty. If employees feel that their skills are not being used properly or overlooked for promotions, they will likely seek other opportunities.

  • Bad Pay: 

According to a Randstad US report, more than 8 in 10 employees expect an annual pay rise to stay engaged and happy at work. So while having a great leader makes the job more enjoyable, it doesn’t preclude the expectation of an annual pay increase.

Ways to Increase Employee Engagement and Loyalty in your Workplace.

  1. Listen, Carefully 

Employee loyalty is a general term for the emotions that make talent feel attached to their current employer and less likely to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Therefore, to increase employee loyalty, you need to increase the positive emotions and decrease employees’ negative emotions at work. A big part of this is understanding what employees actually want and need at work and figuring out what you are prepared to give. Listening carefully to people, especially talent, makes people feel heard. 

2. Give Employees More Control

It’s all about flexibility. Fifty years ago, the management buzzword was delegation. Twenty-five years ago, it was empowerment. Today is flexible. Companies whose employees are autonomous, meaning they make decisions rather than just follow orders, have a 31% lower turnover rate. 

3. Offer Incentives and Benefits

Financial incentives and other benefits can be great motivators. There are several incentives you can give in addition to the year-end bonus. Here are some of the things you could provide:

  • Gym memberships
  • Personal days
  • Volunteers leave
  • Flexible options
  • Wellness programmes
  • Office day-care for kids

4. Encourage Open Communication

Now, more than ever, employees want to be heard. Unfortunately, emotions like fear, stress and other negative factors can lead many to feel overwhelmed and disengaged. Therefore, HR managers and leaders need to create an environment that encourages open communication, open schedule meetings where employees can ask questions, open anonymous communication channels for reserved people to voice their concerns, and have an open-door policy at all levels of company management.

Promoting or constantly working towards achieving employee loyalty will increase retention and productivity. And beyond the pain of hiring replacements, it costs about 20% of an employee’s average salary to replace that employee. Thus, retaining your employees pays off.

5. Take Action

The biggest trap we see companies falling into is that they gather all of the information they need from staff but they don’t act / do anything about it. Consistent action builds trust and thus loyalty. If employees have come to you about something, or a trend emerges through surveys, the most important thing you can do is select things to action, and then do it. This shows employees that you are willing to listen and act. If there are things you can’t action or change, share why. 

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