All employers strive to have loyal workers—the kind that will labor for love and stay when others quit. But, it’s a two-street and almost all workers will leave for better opportunities. Business managers often cite an “employee loyalty” problem, measurable in the turnover rate, recruiting challenges, and training expenses.
However, experts say that the real problem is when businesses don’t give their workers the respect they deserve. Employer loyalty to employees is just as important as the other way around, and the key is to cultivate mutual respect, open communication, and transparency at your workplace. If an employee is experiencing burnout, for example, it’s management’s job to find out why.
At the core of any business is its people. Managers who overemphasize statistics to the detriment of their human relationships will almost certainly reap negative results. We’ll discuss the importance of employer loyalty, how it affects employee relations, and ways to turn things around at your company.
The Truth About Employee Loyalty
A Monster poll of employees found that close to 76 percent of the respondents were looking for new jobs. While there may be any number of reasons why, other surveys consistently show that workers often leave jobs if they don’t feel valued or respected. The problem is, too many business managers don’t want to hear that they have a problem with employer loyalty to employees.
According to experts in the science of loyalty management, the reality is that employees are only as loyal to the company as they believe the company is loyal to them. They need to feel connected to the organization and valued in order to be loyal to the business; this isn’t just an opinion, but a sound theory rooted in cognitive science.
Not only is retaining your top performers paramount to your company’s success, but losing them means you have to spend enormous resources to replace them.
Determining What Changes Need to be Made
So, what’s the level of employee loyalty at your company? Is employee defection a problem? If so, you may be burdened with the increased costs of turnover, not to mention the decline in productivity that typically correlates with an unhappy workforce. Or, do you have a workforce of devoted employees who love their jobs? If so, it may not take much to recruit new talent on board.
Employees usually won’t tell their managers exactly what’s on their mind. However, you can take a survey, hold stay interviews to determine what’s working (and what isn’t), and figure out how you can give and get loyalty back. Opening up those communication channels and, yes, asking the tough questions, are the first steps in igniting company loyalty among your employees.
How to Cultivate Loyalty Among Your Employees
As the employer, you’re responsible for setting the tone and making the first move by showing that you are loyal and committed to your employees’ success. Employee loyalty, when you have it, translates to improved company performance. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to turn around the turnover problem. You just have to be committed. Here are some straight-forward fixes:
- Make employee health and well-being a priority. Your people are at the core of your business, which means you must address human needs more broadly. For example, offering “mental health days” as a refuge from workplace stress or burnout can make a big difference.
- Promote from within whenever possible. If you’re regularly hiring outside talent when the right fit may already be in your office, then you may be cultivating resentment and prompting your workers to look elsewhere.
- Rehire former staff when appropriate. There may be times when hiring a former employee (or “boomerang employee“) makes the most sense, provided they left on good terms.
- Invest in employee training. One of the best ways to prove that you’re loyal to your employees’ professional development is to invest in skills training. You can’t expect them to stay forever, but providing training will encourage more employees to stick around.
- Retain by rewarding. Even if you don’t have the resources to hand out big bonuses, there are plenty of affordable ways to reward your employees and show them that you appreciate their contributions.
In fact, employer loyalty to employees can actually be a competitive advantage as devoted workers will stay with you longer and can serve as reliable sources of institutional knowledge. Retaining these employees increases productivity and reduces disruption. Putting in the extra effort to cultivate greater loyalty from your employees can bring in more potential workers and business.
Hire Top Performers and Keep Them With a Better Recruiting Strategy
The solution to the employee loyalty problem is pretty simple: give loyalty, get loyalty. It’s a two-way street, but employers need to go first by hiring the right people and taking care of them. Sign up today to receive news and expert tips on a wide range of recruiting and HR topics.