Building employee loyalty: The overlooked obligation of HR

The lifeblood of every business is its employees, hence when employees stay with your organisation or leave it, find out why.

By Emmanuel Zvada

Just because your top employees show up at the office each day on time and are ready to work and stay after hours does not mean that they are not planning on leaving you for one of your competitors.

Loyal employees are a major asset for a strong company. Many employers think that employees are robotically loyal just because they get regular pay cheques, but that is not only the only factor.

Employees are only as loyal to the company as they believe the company is loyal to them.

All companies want loyal employees and the value loyal employees bring to business is undisputed.

Loyal employees are the heart of successful companies. Encouraging employee loyalty is an indispensable ingredient for the long-lasting victory of any organisation.

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Not only will it lessen turnover costs, it can also enhance productivity and provide a much more stable work environment for everyone.

Gone are the days when your employee loyalty programmes only focused on the number of years an employee has stayed with the company, but a lot needs to be factored in.

If companies are going to excel, they need two things: loyal employees and devoted customers, of which building loyalty is a tricky thing since it is intangible.

In the present environment, it is very necessary for the organisation to have a strategy for retaining their best employees and that can be done if you manage to build and sustain your employee’s loyalty.

Employee loyalty programmes are usually designed to promote employee motivation and secure the best performers of the company.

Not only will employee loyalty help maintain customer loyalty, but loyal employees generally help recruit other top performers to the organisation and promoting it as the employer of choice.

Increasingly, organisations are looking for new and creative ways to increase employee morale, instead of an old-fashioned monetary bonus. The issue of lost loyalty in organisations nowadays is crucial and restoration of it needs to be done.

In the past, people stayed with organisations for years because they were treated well by the employer.

If they stayed long enough, they would receive certificates or some monetary appreciation as a reward for many years of service.

Below are some of the strategies organisations can adopt as part of their employee loyalty programmes:

Complimenting your employees

When was the last time you told a staff member that you appreciated his or her hard work?

Creating an appreciation programme is very crucial for enhancing employee loyalty.

Reward and recognition programmes are satisfactory, but what people also really want is appreciation.

What causes greatest dissatisfaction at work is lack of appreciation and setting up a programme to make people feel appreciated will be the panacea.

Giving people a genuine compliment and words of encouragement makes the employees feel appreciated and valued.

Give the employee more than expected

When employees say they want their voices to be heard, they are really saying they want leaders who will not just hear them, but really listen to them at heart.

They will be referring to the employers who anticipate a need and fill it or answers a question before it is asked.

When employers delivers more than what workers expect, it will be a powerful way to gain employee loyalty. Employees need to have their concerns heard.

It should also be noted that listening goes well beyond giving someone your full attention, but it requires you to be aware of body language, facial expressions, mood, and natural behavioural tendencies. Leaders who listen are able to create trustworthy relationships that are transparent and breed loyalty in the organisation.

Reward appropriately

Rewards, if done properly, can be powerful loyalty tools. Rewards should largely be based on employee contribution rather than tenure, though this depends with the type of job.

Instead of merely counting the number of years one has worked, organisations are seeing the value of measuring loyalty in terms of actual contributions to company goals.

Top performers should be rewarded properly among them; those who would have helped move the company forward based on measurable success indicators.

This will also encourage others to work harder and smarter, knowing that their efforts would be valued regardless of the number of years they would have been at work.

Build a high-retention workplace

High employee turnover costs business owners in time and productivity and, as a result, retention strategies will help keep employees from exiting the company.

An engaged employee is a person who is excited about their work, committed to organisational success and emotionally attached to the organisation.

Employee engagement makes a difference in enhancing employee loyalty; the reason being that engaged employee are less likely to leave the organisation without valid reasons to competitors.

Through management of engagement, you can increase the loyalty of your employees.

Create a motivating work environment

Your work environment has a serious impact on motivation. A good organisation is one that creates a motivating work environment.

Employees will stick to your organisation in economically rough periods, but do they have the right motivation?

Many employees, particularly high performers, need to be recognised in the direct success of the organisation in terms of their work activities and processes.

Every employee wants to feel that their job makes a difference. As an employer, ensure that all of your employees’ tasks have a direct benefit or contribution to the overall success of your company so that they feel their relevance to the organisation.

The employee loyalty is the dream of every employer. The loyalty of the employee is a two-way street that benefits both the employee and the employer, as aforementioned employees are only as loyal to the company just as they believe the company is also loyal to them.

When an employee feels loyal to a company, it boasts the company’s product and the company itself.

If you keep treating employees like they are easily replaceable, your competitors will lure away your top performers.

 Emmanuel Zvada is a human capital consultant / international recruitment expert and author: For comments inbox to emmanuelzvada@webmail.co.za or call +263771467441. He writes in his own capacity

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