1st May 2019
Loyal employees are a tremendous asset as they are dedicated to the growth and well being of the company they work for. Most even see working for the business as being in their best interest, meaning that they’re even less likely to jump ship at the first promise of another job.
So, let’s explore what that means for the success of your business.
Firstly, a team of loyal staff will decrease turnover and the associated costs and inconveniences that go hand in hand with it. More importantly, however, is the influence your loyal employees can have on productivity, efficiency and the stability of your work environment. Not to mention that having a loyal workforce will significantly reduce the level of workplace politics that you find yourself faced with.
How to Increase Loyalty
I’d be lying if I told you that inspiring loyalty was an easy feat – it’s a tricky thing to achieve, but that’s not to say it’s impossible. There are plenty of steps you can take to make sure your staff stick around and do the job right.
Now, I’m very conscious of the weight that I give to company culture, but it isn’t without good reason. While the culture of a company does comprise some of the competency technicalities of the job, it’s mostly about the attitudes, values and the all ‘round relationships of the people who work there.
Company culture is something that requires the input of everyone who works for a company; however, the main responsibility for upholding that culture belongs to management. Look at areas that need your attention and keep a proactive eye on your employees’ attitudes and behaviour. Lead by example by modelling the behaviour you expect from your staff and you’re already halfway there.
Without a shadow of a doubt, employers gain a lot from offering good benefits to their staff. Whether it’s providing for old age and retirement, illness or injury or other money-saving perks, showing your staff that you value them enough to invest in them further than your legal obligation to provide adequate pay and holiday goes a long way when gaining the respect and loyalty you’re looking for, as well as many positives along with it.
Staff benefits you could think about offering include:
- Childcare Vouchers.
- Sick pay.
- Life/health insurance.
- Gym membership.
- Profit sharing.
- Pension scheme.
Invest in their Progression
Show your staff you want them to do well and go far under your employment by giving them available training options.
First and foremost, you need to ensure that the necessary training is given (and additional training is available where needed) to allow all employees to carry out their job role to the best of their abilities – that includes the basics of the role and all equipment and systems that they are required to use in order to complete their responsibilities.
In addition, keeping a training budget free for staff who show promise or a willingness to learn new skills, hone existing ones or simply want to gain official certification to support the job they already perform well in lets your staff know how much you value them and the input they have to the running and success of the business.
No matter how nice your company culture or how tight your employees’ working relationships may be, there will always come a time when problems arise – how you deal with those problems will play a large part in shaping the attitudes of your staff.
Putting a structured dispute resolution process in place is essential to ensuring that staff understand how situations are handled and it promotes a fair and balanced management style, too.
Make sure you have clear and readily available documentation in place so that there’s no confusion over the process so that staff can know exactly what to expect from you and the company as a whole.
Everyone wants a bit of recognition for a job well done when it’s deserved. The rewards don’t need to be grand or expensive gestures – a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way, especially coming from higher up in the command chain, or if the action is really deserving, you could even let them take an extended lunch break one afternoon (or something similar).
Be mindful to keep the reward system fair, though. A kind gesture can easily be taken the wrong way if you appear to be acting out of favouritism, so make sure that you reward all staff equally.
Fairness. A word used quite liberally these days, but it really just boils down to an open mind. Don’t be seen to automatically jump to someone’s defence when they raise an issue or back them blindly when they come to you with an idea, but don’t just dismiss them without a second thought, either.
Find a middle ground with your staff which allows them to openly confide in you without fear of rejection or humiliation, but that has them understand that you must look at all issues and suggestions objectively and without playing favourites.
Show staff that you care by being alert to the goings-on in the workplace. While you don’t want to be seen as showing sides or being overly friendly with your staff, letting them know that you notice how they seem to be feeling or that you listen to them with interest about their happiness or concerns (in or outside of work) will make all the difference.
Be the Best Leader you can be
How can you become a loyal employee if you don’t feel confident in the leadership of your managers? Staff need (and want) to feel that the management team knows what they are doing and has the best interests of the company and its employees at heart.
That means that you need to bring your A-game every day. Take every opportunity to be better by seeking out additional training and maximise your own potential and professionalism.
Top tip! Nothing shouts ‘believe in me’ more than asking your staff for feedback on your management style.
Hiring candidates internally shows your staff that you want to and will put them first, demonstrating your care for and confidence in them and their abilities. Additionally, it showcases that good work and loyalty is acknowledged and rewarded.
You could even consider launching a scheme that allows staff to refer potential candidates for a role. The benefits of hiring referrals are tenfold:
- The advantage to already knowing the character of the referrer will give you an insight to that of the candidate. If your employee is an honest and hard worker, the likelihood is that anyone they refer will be well suited to the role and the company.
- Facilitating the opportunity for staff to work alongside people they know and like will increase the happiness and comfort of your workforce and will likely lessen your staff turnover.
- Hiring someone referred by an existing employee shows that you have faith in their judgement.
- Implementing a scheme like this will eliminate the need for paying fees to advertise open positions and will save a lot of time as you won’t have to interview a lot of outside candidates if the referrals work out.
Open Door Policy
The overall message from these points so far is that in order to inspire loyalty from your staff, you need to establish and nurture a company culture that promotes and encourages open communication, feedback and discussion.
If you already follow the previous nine steps, you’re pretty much there on the employee loyalty front; but to top it all off, make sure you adopt an open door policy with your staff. Knowing that they can come to you at any time with any issue or concern will give you an extra boost in the respect department – it all filters back to making staff feel valued and listened to.
Don’t Just Stop There…
There are many more things that you can do in a bid to gain and maintain the loyalty of your staff. Other things you may want to consider:
- Keeping equipment clean, up-to-date and in good shape. It’s a small drop in the ocean to replace old resources if it makes your staff feel more respected and valued.
- Show that you are proud of your staff – they’re your biggest asset at the end of the day. You can do this in many ways, from verbally expressing your pride to displaying it publicly by advertising the success of your workforce on your company website – perhaps you could even fire up an employee of the month page to showcase your hottest talent.
- Nip uncertainty in the bud by being honest and upfront with your staff. Try not to keep them in the dark about important updates and give them the chance to have their say in matters that concern them.
- Give staff more control by delegating work to them – not only will this help you out by lessening your workload, but entrusting staff with important tasks will give them a confidence boost.
- Arrange team building days to help your staff to enhance their working relationships.
Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Support Team to provide all of our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software.
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