Loyalty is an elusive concept to grasp – for companies, employers, and employees alike. It is one of the obvious traits when it exists and crystal clear when it doesn’t.
Loyalty is a trait that is almost impossible to pinpoint because it all lands somewhere in the gray area.
Being loyal is all about reciprocity. Employees and employers must work with the feeling that the company wants the best for them, and as a result, they will keep working with the best of their abilities.
Employee loyalty is, above all, determined by how the organization arranges things and the way it is communicated to the employees.
Loyalty among employees is one of the most desirable traits in the workforce. It shows genuine support and love for the company and further helps to reduce attrition.
The sense of reliability that an organization can count on its employees to support them goes a long way in achieving success for the organization and the employees.
With the uncertainty in the current business environment, employers and organizations need loyal employees who they can count on to help them grow together.
Loyalty, in uncertain times, builds the much-required assurance that helps one to survive and grow.
Employee loyalty helps the employees to adapt to new changes and form a better and strong team dynamic.
For these reasons, the loyalty of individual employees in a workplace is a must.
One of the misconceptions about employee retention and company loyalty is that the employees are loyal because they have worked for the organization for several years and thusly advocate the employee brand.
Who is a Loyal Employee?
An employee who has been working for an organization for a long time is not necessarily loyal, and they may not even necessarily buy into the company’s ethos or support its growth objectives.
A loyal employee is one who has worked for the organization and has always prioritized the success of the company. This involves sacrificing their own time and resources to put more energy into the corporation.
Such loyal employees are dedicated to helping the company grow and prosper despite setbacks and competitors. It is an earnest effort that has no hidden or underlying motive.
Principles of Employee Loyalty
- Employees should have a central role to play when a policy is executed. When companies show that they are doing their best for the employees, they will create a feeling of reciprocal obligation among employees. Employers should also give their employees the sense that they are being treated fairly.
- The employees must trust that their employers want the best for them and are not acting out of self-interest.
- If the organizations show understanding for the employees, help them find the right balance between their work life and personal life, employee loyalty will increase manifold.
Importance of Employee Loyalty
Organizations are dependent on employee’s loyalty to a great extent because it is important for organizations to be successful.
There is a strong positive correlation between employee satisfaction and employee loyalty.
The secret to fostering loyalty amongst employees and preventing employee turnover is effective leadership.
Leaders who genuinely support their employees – who are plugged into their organizations and listen to their employees – develop a corporate culture that naturally supports the employees.
And on the other hand, employees who trust and respect the leadership of an organization feel more motivated and empowered to do their best, which reduces employee turnover and its costs.
Back in the day, organizations and employees genuinely looked out for one another. Employers offered job security in exchange for employee commitment and loyalty.
However, today, employers and employees are more self-centered. Employers face tremendous pressure from shareholders to perform well because of which they fail to offer job security.
Despite this, organizations must continue to focus on employee loyalty and attempt to foster it because it positively impacts attendance and organizational citizenship behavior.
Employee Loyalty is Built on Trust
Employee loyalty prevails at the crossroads of the employer’s investment in their employees and the employee’s investment in the organization.
With the growing interest in employee engagement and decreasing employee turnover has forced companies to collect more data, employees fear that they might be tricked into working harder and longer.
Such distrust is further fuelled by the lack of follow-up or correct use of the gathered data.
Employee loyalty is fueled by trust. And to win that trust, employers and managers must the information collected to good use and prove that they are invested in this employee loyalty partnership.
Employee Loyalty: Everything You Need to Know
Loyalty takes time
Trust takes time to build. As leaders and employers, it is important to understand that every employee who walks into your organization comes with different expectations and experiences; thus, it is your job to show your loyalty to them first.
You need to show them that they can trust you and support you; loyalty will come at its own pace.
Loyalty is a wide spectrum.
If leaders or managers find out that their employees are frustrated or looking for a new job, they must show their employees that they appreciate them, support them, and help them become their best.
If the employees leave, it doesn’t mean they’re disloyal.
Employees may leave because they are presented with a much better opportunity. Despite despising them for leaving the organization, employers can show their support to them – applaud their success, wish them the best, and let them know that you are always there for them.
This may be difficult for employers because emotions can be high; however, it is critical that employers change their perspective if an employee is really great.
As the leader, you can control your loyalty to them.
As a leader, your job is to focus on what you can do to bring the best in your employees. It may not always work; however, owning your role in any situation usually provides insights into unforeseen solutions.
Tips to Foster Employee Loyalty
Give Employees the Tools they Need
Leaders and employers should develop tools that will allow employees to quickly look up the answers to common questions, share best practices and solutions with each other, and contribute to the organization’s knowledge base.
Hiring through Referrals
Employers and leaders must consider fostering employee loyalty through hiring with referrals. They should look to build a friendly working environment where employees are loyal to each other.
Research suggests that employee retention is 45% of hires are made through referrals than 20% compared to the other resources. The higher retention shows employee loyalty.
Connect with Employees
It is true that employers and leaders don’t have enough time for their employees to interact with them; it can be quite difficult depending on the size of the business.
However, it is important that this principle is carried out because it restores any doubts over employee value to the business.
Leaders must show that they trust their employees.
When employees know that they are trusted and valued, they tend to reciprocate those feelings. Whenever possible, employers and leaders must give their employees the authority to make decisions that relate to their work.
The resulting sense of freedom and responsibility can inspire employees to work harder and thus, improve the work environment as a whole.
Provide Honest Feedback and Two-way Communication
Giving feedback and helping employees to set individual and company goals is incredibly effective. When leaders and employees offer something actionable and honest, it allows them to build trust and openness with employees.
It further eliminates the negative workplace hierarchy that had slowly developed over time.
Remove unnecessary uncertainty
The workplace has the most uncertainties. The economy changes rapidly, and innovations constantly disrupt previously stable markets.
The pervasive uncertainty creates a climate of stress that makes the employees miserable. While no one can fix uncertain economic conditions, a company can work towards working more predictably by keeping their employees informed and giving an advance warning when it is inevitable.
Micromanagement is a sign of the lack of mistrust in the organization. It shows the employees that they are not trusted enough to do their work.
To build a sound employer-employee relationship, there must be faith in both parties.
When leaders and employers micromanage, they diminish employee empowerment and job satisfaction levels. When this nosy practice is avoided, it builds trust and fosters employee loyalty for the company.
Employee loyalty is an important sign of employee engagement. It shows that there are employees who are willing to go above and beyond for the company.
Employers must do everything in their capacity to ensure quality in their employees and workplace.
While competence is provided through training and development, loyalty is in-built; it cultivates over time. Leaders and employers must put in their best efforts and be passionate about having loyal employees who’d be willing to grow together with them.
Associate Growth Manager