Securing Employee Loyalty – Practical ways to encourage employee loyalty

There is a natural rate of labour turnover that is fundamentally important for all organisations if they are to have long term success. Why? Because the influx of new ideas and thoughts is imperative to disrupt stagnant practices, and to also force positive change. As well as this, there will naturally be wastage due to sickness, and retirement. However, organisations do often suffer with unwanted turnover where they are losing employees that are valuable. In this case, not only do they lose a wanted asset with all of the intrinsic knowledge that person has, but they will now incur costs to find a replacement – costs of recruitment, training, and so on. This is quite obviously leading to the fact that organisations should do more to secure employee loyalty, and eliminate, or more realistically minimise, unwanted wastage.

The question is, if the solution to the problem appears so straightforward, why do so many businesses find it so hard to do? The high level answer to this question, in my opinion, is that organisational structure, hierarchy, and a number of other influences such as availability of budget, stand in the way of giving employees what they would need to stay. I am about to set out some practical ways to encourage employee loyalty – some of which will be easier to implement than others depending on the business circumstances.

1. Clear path to promotion

Not all employees want to be promoted and therefore this will not be a method of securing loyalty for all employees. However, for those that do want to take the next step in their career, it is important for them to see a clear path to do that within the organisation (rather than having to go elsewhere). By a clear path I am referring to succession planning, career talks, and robust performance management systems.

2. Employee empowerment

There is a well-known and clear link between empowering employees and them wanting to stay with an organisation. This entails avoiding micro management, and giving employees unilateral ownership for a task or perhaps give them line management responsibilities. In a nutshell, avoid making them feel like a tiny cog in a big machine.

3. Reward them

When we talk about rewards, it can instantly rouse the image of money. But it does not need to be a monetary reward. A job well done could be rewarded with half a day off, a gift voucher, recognition among employees, or perhaps a lunch. The key is to identify success and reward it.

In Summary

Nobody said this would be easy to get right. Loyalty, as in all relationships, is not gained overnight. It is built over time through many transactions that build trust. The ideas above are practical interventions that can be implemented on a small scale to start with. However all of them require the right organisational culture, if they are to be successful and sustainable.