Stay Just a Little Bit Longer: Tips for Building Employee Loyalty

It used to be that you’d hang onto your job for 30 or so years, and at the end, you’d have a watch and a pension. Now, company pensions are nearly a thing of the past. (And who needs a watch when you’re carrying your trusty smartphone?) So, in today’s environment where individuals have three or more jobs throughout their careers, what do you do to keep your employees loyal to your small business? And why should you care?

Loyal employees are the lifeblood of many successful businesses. They feel a sense of connectedness to the company that drives them to go above and beyond for the organization. In addition to their own jobs, they take on many unofficial responsibilities such as resolving conflicts, sharing expertise, acting as a repository for historical knowledge, helping co-workers and more.

Loyalty, in large part, is engendered by flexibility and individual attention. These four ideas can help you inspire loyalty within your workforce.

  1. Hire the right people. Well-matched employees are likely to be more loyal. When you find candidates with potential, ask them to complete a project that will test their ability to do the required work. Also, introduce your candidate to several of your team members. A good fit should blend well with possible co-workers.
  2. Grow your people. As a business owner, your rapport with employees strongly influences their likelihood of staying on the job. If your people see that you’re invested in providing opportunities for their professional growth, their loyalty soars. Inspire them, give them your time and attention, offer them opportunities – and they will likely stay.
  3. More than one way to grow. Not everyone – no matter how skilled – is cut out to be a manager. When you create different paths for advancement, everyone has a career goal to pursue. In some situations, you might even design a new job based on an individual’s skill set.
  4. More than one way to work. Freedom and control are powerful motivators. When you can allow such things as working from home, a flexible work schedule and casual attire, you show your employees they matter and you trust them.

Get to know your employees, take time to understand what they need, then try to provide it for them. Think about it: We’re all a little happier when we’re getting our needs met.


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