Does it still have meaning?  We are loyal to friends, families, teams, hometowns and more but are we still loyal to companies? If so why  or why not?

It has been said that baby  boomers were loyal, they worked their way up no matter what. Was that a good work ethic? Employees want to be heard to feel they re contributing. This is different than the loyalty of baby boomers who were loyal to corporations and even small businesses as they worked their way up, because that was the expectation of performance in the workplace Then  suddenly in the 80s loyalty didn’t mean as much. there were no more guarantees in jobs for hard work. IBM the model for  loyalty had it’s first layoff in 1993.  Jack Welch  at GE created the new employability contract, ” eager to stay and ready to  go” Cradle to grave employment was no longer in vogue.

With recruitment and retention being such a major issue how is loyalty created? It begins wit the creation of the culture that shows employees they are valued  and rewards them in ways they want to be be rewarded. In a previous blog i wrote about the Dream Manager that described ways to help show value to employees. SAS is a classic example of how to develop loyalty . Their turnover is 1/10 of industry standard.

The following are the behaviors  of a loyal employee in the workplace.

Treat you more like a person they admire rather than a boss they report to
Will never show their criticism for your actions in front of the team
Show support for your work in public
Inform you well before they intend to leave
Tell you whenever you’re wrong instead of keeping silent

The question now becomes how do you foster that loyalty at every stage of employment in every department?

1. Competitive and Appropriate Compensation Plan To gain the loyalty of your employees, you must offer them competitive compensation, and it means providing a salary per the market conditions with perks and benefits. This needs to be aligned with career paths and opportunity for growth.

2. Hiring through Referrals One way to increase employee loyalty is to build a friendly working environment where workers are loyal to each other where they want to encourage their friends to work for you as well because they enjoy it. Employees who bring in people they know, help retain the culture and stay longer. They share the company vision

3. Empower Employees Give more control to the employees for their work; how it is done and where. The Pandemic showed the value of remote work. Give your workers the authority and flexibility to make decisions, be creative in their problem-solving approach, have flexible  work schedules

4. Transparency Working in an uncertain environment creates stress in an office. Employers must encourage a predictable working environment and follow transparency. alerting the employees of your actions and decisions here. and any changes  in advance

5. Public Recognition and Appreciation Rewards and recognition are vital for making employees feel appreciated and motivating them to work harder. This appreciation builds employee engagement.  Remember praise in public discipline in private

6. No Micromanagement Micromanagement is a sign of a lack of trust within the organization, and it shows your employees that you don’t believe in  them enough to do their work correctly. There must be faith in both parties to build a sound employer-employee relationship.

7. Employees can grow the reputation If your employees are happy and feel valued  they will tell people outside the company. Consumers want to support and buy from companies that prize their employees and recognize their importance

Remember  loyalty takes time and is a culture shift. It doesn’t happen immediately and if this is part of a change directive it may take longer as the employees need to trust that you are really doing what needs to be done to show how much you value those that work for you.

What are some examples you have seen or you do to inspire loyalty?  What are no-nos?  Please share them so can all learn