Loyal employees: Why they’re important & how to get them
The aim of the game for any business owner is to build a loyal and satisfied customer base, but have you ever considered your employee loyalty? After all, customer loyalty is a direct consequence of your employee’s behaviour.
But what does it take to nurture and retain a loyal employee? We’ve got all the answers you’ll need here, but first, let’s take it right back to basics.
What is a loyal employee?
Lots of businesses are guilty of mistakenly assuming that once someone’s on their payroll they’re loyal to the organisation. Wrong. Loyalty is something which must be earned and maintained throughout an employee’s tenure.
A loyal employee is one who is committed to your organisation, who is productive, engaged and works hard for their salary – frequently putting the businesses needs before their own. They’re worth their weight in gold.
Why they’re important
If an employee’s loyal, they’re happy in their position and there’s a demonstrated link between employee satisfaction and productivity at work – in fact, they’ve been found to be 12% more productive than their dissatisfied counterparts, and we don’t need to tell you that a more productive workforce means a healthier bottom line for your business.
A loyal employee is also less likely to move on to pastures new, so your staff turnover will benefit too. Why’s that a good thing? Because replacing an employee can cost between 140-200% of their salary, and no business wants to lose money if it doesn’t have to.
Losing the employee is one thing but the impact doesn’t stop at cost. As well as bidding farewell to the person you lose their experience, knowledge and skills which can have a detrimental effect on team morale and productivity. Worst-case, it could even spark a snowball effect whereby other employees start to reconsider their organisational loyalty too.
We touched on it earlier but it’s worth repeating because ultimately, it’ll make or break your business’ success. Studies within the workplace show a strong connection between the amount of loyalty an employee feels for their organisation and how able they are to build loyalty in customers.
Once more, your back pocket will reap the rewards and your loyal customers will make you money in two ways:
How to get them
At this point, we’re going to assume you’re sold on the importance of building employee loyalty, so let’s dive into the good stuff – how to build a faithful workforce.
In a lot of cases, when an employee jumps ship it’s down to their management rather than the organisation as a whole. Why? Because every staff member’s first point of call is their manager and if they’re not happy with that relationship they’ll look for a better one elsewhere.
A good manager should make themselves available and have an open-door policy, and this will foster an environment of trust, support and open communication – leaving employees feeling secure and satisfied at work.
Used as a safe place employees can go to discuss any issues they’re experiencing with management, HR departments also have a role to play here too. And the buck doesn’t stop there. Organisational leaders should ensure they’re keeping their finger on the pulse as well, monitoring management’s efforts to put these tactics to work and evaluating employee satisfaction with the outcome.
Perks & benefits
Why would an employee stay where they are and feel loyal to you if the grass is in fact greener on the other side? If the benefits and perks you offer your workforce pail in comparison to your competitor’s efforts, employee loyalty is bound to dwindle.
Do your homework and find out what rival organisations are doing and where possible, ensure your offerings are on par. The benefits you offer can be anything from away-days and team-building exercises to wellbeing support or a company car.
One of the most important perks today’s workforce is looking for is flexibility and this could be flexible office hours, condensed working weeks, term time only hours, remote working or otherwise. Offering these kinds of benefits will bolster commitment as well as retention because you’ll boost employee work-life balance, allow them to better manage their responsibilities, reduce stress and ultimately increase job satisfaction and happiness.
This one’s a biggie and getting it right will have a ripple effect throughout your entire organisation – particularly employee loyalty and retainment. Here’s what a positive culture looks like:
- It’s employee-centric – put your staff at the heart of everything and in turn, they’ll take care of your customers. An employee-centric culture is one which recognises and acknowledges the efforts and achievements of its workforce, provides continual support and guidance, allows for open communication and collaboration, and holds everyone to the same level of accountability.
- It has core values and beliefs – these lay the groundwork for your organisation’s culture and should be adhered to by everyone on your payroll – not just stuck on your website to pay lip service to the idea.
- It promotes autonomy – the level of freedom an employee’s allowed when completing their workload will impact on their motivation, productivity and satisfaction. A positive culture allows for autonomy whereby employees can manage their own schedule and determine how their work should be done.
- It offers continual development – Professional training and career progression are very important to today’s workforce and a positive culture will embrace this. In fact, did you know, implementing a culture committed to learning has been linked to boosted employee engagement and reduced turnover?
- It starts at the top – An effective culture starts at the top and is adopted and embraced by those in the most senior positions who set a precedent which cascades down throughout the organisation.