Increase Employee Loyalty

career advice courses May 31, 2021

Consider these two startling facts:

• Each year the average company loses 20% of its employee base

• Replacing a lost employee costs on average 150% of that person’s annual salary

Because the cost of replacing employees is so high, and the fact that so many continue to leave, businesses who effectively manage the employee engagement process can turn these facts around, making these burdens a strength. They can realise increased productivity, happier employees who willingly promote the business, and eventually, greater profits and other positive business outcomes.

A company needs to understand why the employees are emotionally connected to your business – and it’s generally much more than salaries, training, or benefits. Research shows that emotionally connected employees are the best employees because they are engaged and productive, and they feel validated and appreciated.

The opportunity exists for businesses to manage engagement just like they manage other areas of their business. It’s not impossible today, with the right technology and best practices. With engaged employees, everyone wins!

To increase the loyalty and engagement of your employees follow these basic principles and action items.

1.    Engaged employees are the best employees
An engaged employee is a person who is enthusiastic about their work. Improving employee engagement directly impacts measurable business outcomes. Employees who are committed to success, emotionally attached, and socially involved with a company demonstrate qualities that business managers’ thirst to have. Engaged employees are more productive at work, take less sick days and exhibit other favorable behavior, promote the business to others and show their happiness to customers. In short, engaged employees are the best employees.

Engaged employees bring a competitive advantage to a business for several reasons. An engaged employee is less likely to leave, leading to substantial cost savings for your organisation in terms of recruitment and training. Engaged employees demonstrate improved performance as individuals and teams. Furthermore, engagement increases the consistency in team performance from day-to-day and month-to-month. Also, engaged employees enable a “skill-liquidity,” – an ability to adapt skills to changing business needs – that improve

2.    You can manage employee engagement
Employee engagement can be improved by aligning the goals of the business with the goals of the individual. Employee motivation should be associated with traditional rewards, such as pay and compensation, but also with emotional rewards such as personal growth, working for a common cause, being part of a high-performance team, and being recognised for achievements.

3.    Help employees see the big picture
Help your employees to see the big picture, how they contribute to a functioning whole. A ‘chain of customers’ exists from the bottom of the organisation up to the top. Where outward facing employees serve a customer, supervisors must serve and empower employees, managers must serve and empower supervisors, and so on up to corporate presidents who must serve and empower vice presidents.

4.    Close training gaps
Make sure there are no major training gaps in your organisation. Training should be up-to-date. Make sure employees know about training opportunities. Some sophisticated organisations have a Learning Management System in place to measure training and results. Online training is a cost effective way to increase industry knowledge and productivity.

5.    Mentoring and leadership program
Train and encourage seasoned employees to be mentors. A mentoring program can facilitate dynamic skill growth throughout an organisation. Leadership programs identify key staff and encourage their personal development aligning their future career paths with the company’s leadership requirements. Your online training partner can coordinate the mentoring and leadership program for effective and credible results.

6.    Promote team building
Encourage team building activities among employee groups. Some managers see the intangibles of team building as a pointless waste of time. However, there are well-documented benefits to creating trust and acceptance among work groups. Team building activities don’t have to be expensive. Inexpensive ideas for trust building activities are available through a simple web search.

7.    Build a supportive environment before addressing compensation complaints
Sometimes dissatisfaction with wages merits investigation. But often, dissatisfaction with wages and benefits masks problems that relate back to acceptance by a team or manager. Often employees voice any problem in terms of a compensation issue. Employees may need appropriate coping skills, problem-solving skills, tactics for handling difficult situations, or help expressing their own personal feelings.

8.    Employees want to feel respected
“Employees don’t leave their job, they leave their manager” is the mantra heard for many years in Human Resources circles. To feel respected, employees should feel like the company regards them as an important asset. Employees should feel like their manager has realistic expectations about what they can achieve. And, managers must be fair and even-handed. Nothing makes employees angrier than seeing a peer receive special treatment when they’ve broken the rules or have not been performing. Managers have the special role of enforcing company policy while at the same time removing barriers and excuses for employee performance.

9.    Don’t be afraid to tell them the truth
Respect your employees through degrees of transparency. Communicate how your business is really doing at least quarterly or semi-annually. Give your employees confidence in the future and information to understand shifts in corporate policy due to your economic or competitive environment.

10.    Retrain or get rid of bad managers
One bad manager can pollute multiple layers of an organisation. Your most talented employees will be the first ones to leave in the face of poor management. Poor managers bring down the morale of employees, which in turn spills over to the engagement level of customers and ultimately reflects poorly in that group’s performance and profits.

11.    Recognise employee contributions
Recognition from a supervisor at least two ranks above an employee makes a meaningful, engaging difference in employee morale.

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