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How managers and leaders can earn employee loyalty

LOYALTY: Employees stay longer in workplaces that make them happy

WHEN EMPLOYEES are not loyal enough, the chances of them leaving their jobs are usually higher. In cases where a lack of loyalty towards an employer leads to high employee turnover rate, hiring replacements it will likely cost you around 20 per cent of average employee salary.

Mind you, this is one of the most influential HR problems you cannot see with your physical eyes. However, by taking a proactive approach you may become able to identify where and when lack of employee loyalty poses a threat.

If you should succeed in this regard, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the long term benefits of earning employee loyalty. Perhaps, by leveraging people analytics data points, your company will also have some numbers to measure loyalty level from time to time. This makes it possible to act promptly when the need arise. But what exactly is employee loyalty?

Employee loyalty is a proven attitude of unhindered respect for an employer which is based on perceived values.

These values may include availability of career growth opportunities, commitment to employee well being beyond the workplace and constant recognition of personal or exceptional contributions.
Most times, it is practically based on the principle of reciprocity. Now let’s look at some way you can leverage to earn employee loyalty. Please note that this is not a static variable. So think about ways to increase it from time to time.

Flexible Working Conditions

There are many benefits of flexible working conditions – and this is one area that the principle of reciprocity applies really well. In fact, there a recent survey that found 46 per cent of employees consider flexibility a top priority when looking for a new job or even working in one.

Unfortunately, when your company has rigid policies in this regard, you are likely to be at a disadvantage with regard to attracting and retaining top talent. Beyond flexible work hours and remote work opportunities, give your employees the freedom to take care of their personal problems when such arises.

Offer Understandable Growth Opportunities

Here is another thing you don’t have to leave to chance – and that is the issue of defined career growth opportunities. While it is not every company that has the resources to offer career focused and other relevant training programmes, there are some things you can do in this scenario.

Simply buying industry and career focused event tickets could make someone appreciate your employer brand more than they do right now.

According to Alison Doyle, a career development expert and member of the Society For Human Resource Management: ‘’Your career network should be in place when you need it, both for job search and for moving up along the career ladder.’’

Don’t wait for your employees to ask for it. Give them career development training and networking opportunities. In addition to this, make sure you are communicating and reinforcing a clear promotion schedule as part of overall human resource development strategy.

Build A Happier Workforce

What has happiness got to do with employee loyalty?

Our answer is so much, if you think for a while about the ripple effects. Based on a 700 person study conducted in Britain by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick Centre For Competitive Advantage, it was revealed thathappy workers are often more productive. On the other hand, if the daily work experiences of your employees often end in unhappiness, don’t expect loyalty from them.

Think about your own work experiences as well. The real fact is that human brain is hard wired for pleasure. Hence people crave for and stay longer in places or circumstances that make them happy.
Your responsibility is to identify the things that make them happy and reinforce them as often as possible. Removing obstacles to happiness in your workplace will also help you earn and increase employee loyalty. Read the Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor and you’ll get more insight on this.

Embrace Constant Feedback

Few things are as bad as groping in the dark when there is a time bomb around you. This is seen as chasing a rat when your house is on fire. The interesting fact here is that blazing fire never starts at once.

What are we trying to say?

Well, the things that cause lack or decline in employee loyalty often start from internal issues that can be nipped in the bud. And if you don’t identify them and act promptly enough, it results in expensive employee turnover. In most cases, this happens where two feedback systems are not working well.
The responsibility here is to give and ask for feedback consistently. You should as well encourage constant feedback through suggestion box.

By doing this your employees will have the confidence to speak out when there is an important need for it.

Retool Your Employees

In today’s tech driven and fast changing economy, the tools that people use in their workplace matters a lot. While recruiting top talent and having the right skill set is good, having the best modern tools sometimes result in 10 per cent vs 50 per cent difference in productivity. For example, making use of employee performance management systems could give you an edge over your competitors.
Another reason why retooling your staff is very important is that it gives them opportunities to build work experiences and new skill set that are relevant in today’s labour market.

If you leave them to be struggling behind with outdated tools, that could be a big turnover risk for your company or team. You sure don’t want to lose top talent in the middle of an important company project. Think about it for a while.

Except the practical option discussed above, there are many other ways you can leverage to earn employee loyalty. But when it feels like you’ve earned some, don’t just stop there. Think of even more ways to increase the level of loyalty your employees have towards the brand. Company culture is another important area you should explore.

Now you can go and put these ideas to work in your company.

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