By Mark Swartz
At any given time employed people are looking for new jobs. A recent Monster poll revealed that close to 76% of its respondents will look for a new job this 2017!
That about tells you the state of employee loyalty these days.
But what about being a loyal employer? Commitment is a two way street. You can’t expect much fealty from staff if you arbitrarily downsize people, skimp on training or don’t provide room for advancement.
To reduce unwanted turnover and prompt staff to give you their best, show them you genuinely stand behind them.
The Essence of Loyalty
You care about your staff and want them to perform well. But what exceptional actions would you take to protect their interests?
That’s the foundation of loyalty. It is about more than encouraging engagement. You want your needed staff to stay with you through thick and thin. They should proudly serve as public ambassadors, boasting about your firm. And go to extraordinary lengths when needed to help you succeed.
To get these kinds of results, demonstrate unflinching support for your staff’s well-being. Pick and choose from the following tactics as a starting point.
1. Promote From Within Whenever Possible
Avoid hiring outside talent unless there’s no other option. Promoting from within, and shifting existing staff into different roles, tells them they aren’t just expendable cogs.
2. Downsize Only As A Last Resort
Some employers let people go at the first sign of reduced profit. The message is that people will be discarded at will. If you do have to cut staff – due to unfixably poor performance or a company crisis – downsize with dignity. Every remaining employee is watching for signs you respect them to the end.
3. Hire Friends And Family Of Staff
Few things make a workplace more inviting than familiar, loving faces. So enable employees to recommend people they’re close to for openings. There can be problems mixing family and friends at work. But it can also create loyalty when staff feel like part of a family.
4. Rehire Former Staff When Appropriate
Holding grudges against good employees who leave is unproductive. They may return someday hoping to work for you again. Would you deny them because they once sought greener pastures? If they parted on positive terms, and are still qualified, consider welcoming them back to the fold. It boosts morale all around.
5. Invest In Employee Training
Another approach to acting loyally is upgrading the skills and knowledge of staff. It says you are in this with them for the longer run. Part of this might be assisting them with personal career planning. Tuition and conference reimbursement, in-house workshops and mentoring count as well.
6. Stand Behind Your Staff When They Experience Upheavals
Just like your firm, employees will go through ups and downs. That may involve personal problems or performance issues. Do you wait for staff to fail before intervening? A more proactive, discreet involvement could be better. Assure the affected employee that they’re valued despite the current situation. Work together to arrive at solutions. Giving them extra time or a reduced load temporarily can make all the difference. Accommodating them if they’ve been ill or injured conveys empathy and patience.
7. Make Health And Safety A Priority
Employers have a duty to protect their staff. Yet some companies still try to cut corners on safety. Avoidable injuries may result. Talk about showing disdain for your people’s well-being. Instead strive to be injury-free. Include procedures for minimizing psychological harm too (i.e. protect against bullying, rudeness, physical threats and sexual harassment).
Create A Virtuous Circle
Loyalty to staff motivates engagement, which generates standout commitment from them, which makes you want to keep them even more.
Employer loyalty is an actual competitive advantage. Devoted workers stay longer and are fonts of company knowledge. Their continuity enhances productivity and reduces disruption.
Make staff feel extra valued by providing a measure of job security. It’s a perk that they won’t find easily elsewhere.