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Fostering Employee Loyalty

By Joyce Bethoney on

When speaking with candidates, I’m often surprised to hear how seemingly easy it is for them to leave a company. And this got me thinking about loyalty. In my experience, the top three reasons people leave their jobs include: salary, respect/fair treatment, and growth potential.

Today I’ll explore the second reason-- why people pursue new roles to work for companies where they are treated better. While organizations justifiably spend a lot of time focusing on the bottom line and their customer experience, many neglect their employees’ satisfaction in the process. If customer loyalty is a priority, build loyalty with your employees first.

So, how do you foster employee loyalty?

Take a close look at your teams and the relationships of team members. Is everyone contributing? Does each person understand his or her role in relation to others on the team? Examining team performance and listening to feedback should be just as important as reviewing sales data and establishing revenue goals.

Far too often employee reviews are backburnered for what is deemed to be more pressing work. Every time a review is pushed off or an issue within the team is ignored, you lose a little more employee loyalty. Don’t lose valuable contributors because there simply wasn’t time to understand their concerns, invest in their growth and recognize their contributions.

There will also be team members who are not pulling their weight. The “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch” precept may not take its toll immediately, but a weak team member will slowly chip away at the loyalty of the employees you want to retain. And I’m afraid the notion of just bringing in new blood to energize a group is not going to turn around a team either. Recruiting a new hire to “fix” an issue will cost a company a lot more than developing an existing employee to do the same role.

Listening and responding to employees' needs does require some time and effort. However, if your people feel that they are heard and treated fairly, they will be more productive, more vested in your company, and quite simply, do a better job.