How to boost employee loyalty
Today’s companies are challenged with keeping up with the needs and demands of their employees and it seems that their greatest struggle isn’t recruiting talent but instead retaining and engaging them. Employees today seek a sense of purpose that is no longer satisfied by a paycheck alone.
Instead, they want to work for a company committed to their growth and development. Employers must redefine their current employee experience to remain competitive and reduce turnover. To be successful in retaining the top talent they must view their employees as consumers and treat them as they would their clients.
The employee journey map
The first thing you will have to do is to create an employee journey map that maps out an employee’s experience with your company. This is a map that will give you the right touchpoints and will serve as a guideline for achieving future goals and career goals while keeping employees motivated to achieve them.
Here are the 3 key pieces to creating an effective employee journey map to increase loyalty and retention:
Effective strategy: Co-creating an effective strategy engages both the manager and employee to design a well-thought-out plan that supports both the company and the individual. Managers who have a better understanding of what their employees want can best support them in achieving it through feedback, guidance, communication, and accountability.
Achievable milestones: After gaining clarity on the strategy, the next step is to lay out what it will take to get there. This means getting as specific as possible and fleshing out each step so there is no misunderstanding or confusion. Managers and employees should work together to identify objectives and create a plan of milestones to work toward.
Feedback loop: Managers should be proactive in creating a healthy relationship centered around open communication with their employees. They can do this by empowering their employees through ownership and accountability while providing them with the tools and resources to best support their journey. Establishing a positive feedback loop is essential to the success of any manager-employee relationship. A successful employee feedback loop consists of check-ins, transparency, and coaching sessions. These should occur frequently and consistently to gauge the satisfaction of their employee as well as determine how to best support them and improve areas of struggle while praising progress.
The steps to increase employee loyalty
Here are some of the steps that you can take today to create and increase employee loyalty:
1. Understand what ‘employee loyalty’ means: Employee loyalty is an umbrella term for a set of emotions that make employees feel attached to their current employer and less likely to see greener grass elsewhere. To increase employee loyalty, you must increase the positive emotions and decrease the negative emotions that your employees feel as they decide to stay or go. Understanding that you’re dealing with root emotions, rather than the specific behaviors those emotions drive, will keep you focused on what really matters.
2. Offer competitive and fair compensation: Employees expect to be paid as much as they could earn doing the same job someplace else and they feel “devalued” when they’re paid less. Employees also expect to be paid as much as their peers who are doing the same work, regardless of whether those peers are better at negotiating salaries. The simplest way to establish competitive fairness is to publish everyone’s compensation like publicly-held companies publish executive compensation.
3. Hire more referrals: As bestselling author Bob Burg (The Go-Giver) points out: “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” An easy way to ensure that connection between employees is to create referral bonuses and have an employee referral program that makes it easier for employees to recommend their friends.
For example, 60% of the employees at the mobile security vendor Location Labs were hired as a result of employee referrals, resulting in an astoundingly small 5% annual employee turnover rate.
4. Give employees more control: Fifty years ago, the key management concept was “delegate.” Twenty-five years ago, it was “empowerment.” Today, it’s “engagement.” All three buzzwords mean the same thing: managers should cede control to employees. Companies that have employees who are “engaged”—meaning they’re making decisions rather than simply following orders—have a 31% lower turnover rate. The easiest way to increase employee engagement is to have them set their own work hours and decide whether and when to work remotely.
5. Remove unnecessary uncertainty: There’s no question that today’s workplace contains more uncertainties than in the past. The economy changes rapidly and innovations constantly disrupt previously stable markets. This pervasive uncertainty creates a climate of stress that can make employees miserable, according to a recent study conducted at University College London. While no single company can fix an uncertain economy, a company can make work more predictable simply by keeping its employees briefed and giving an advance warning when changes are imminent.
6. Detox: It’s difficult or impossible for employees to feel loyal to a company that tolerates individuals who make the workplace miserable for everyone else. Transfer or terminate employees who are consistently obnoxious or abusive and are unwilling to change their attitude and behavior.
7. Publicize your talent brand: Employees want to be proud of their jobs and of where they work. Companies that have impressive talent brands attract and retain talent more easily.
8. Take your time when hiring: Take a bit of extra time in the hiring and screening process to find the right candidates and prevent losing them later. Consider introducing candidates to team members. Show them past projects. Make an effort to get a better read of how well they will mesh with the rest of your team.
9. Be open about growth opportunities: Employees will more easily be able to envision a future with your company when they are aware that the company would like to include them in the plan. Include employees in succession planning discussions. Be forthright about their current skills and aptitudes, where holes may exist, and what can be done to close the gap. Helping employees achieve their professional growth goals demonstrates that your company is invested in employee success. Can you think of a better way to grow staff loyalty?
10. Mentorship and team-building: Provide opportunities for more experienced people to mentor junior employees, create growth and learning opportunities for junior staff members, demonstrate to senior staff that you recognize his or her skills and knowledge, and also help build solid relationships between employees. Also, encourage team building and social activities among employees. The team-building experience will help them work better together, resolve conflicts more easily and build trust. It can also become the basis of some long-lasting friendships. When employees count their co-workers as their friends, it builds a deeper sense of belonging, as well as staff loyalty.
The new era of workers isn’t just redefining the workplace culture, they’re changing the dynamics of the relationship between the manager and employee. Managers have taken on the roles of coaches, leaders, mentors, and career ambassadors dedicated to helping employees navigate through the company, boost productivity and develop current talent. Implementing these three key strategies and taking the right steps to unfold employer loyalty is the right way to show employees how much they’re valued while increasing engagement, loyalty, and retention, making a happier, more productive, and more successful workforce.