Employee loyalty and employee turnover are two main topics of discussion in today’s modern workplace. This is because of how much value they offer an organization. Employee turnover, as many people know and understand, is one of the most costly expenses that a brand or organization can incur. This is because of all the different costs that play into both firing an individual, as well as searching for, interviewing, and hiring a replacement. In turn, the value that organizations and brands have started to put on employee loyalty has continually and steadily increased over the years.
Add in the events of 2020 which inspired a massive segment of the workforce to pursue early retirement or their own ventures, organizations became desperate for high-quality workers who would serve as longtime pillars in their staff. Not only have recruiting practices been scrutinized and revamped in the past few years, but so have employee loyalty strategies.
“The value of employee loyalty is even more relevant than ever. Employers are looking for long-term staff to help them grow in the present unpredictable economic climate. In difficult circumstances, an employee’s loyalty provides the much-needed sense of security that allows companies to persevere.”– Grace He, Director of People and Culture, Teambuilding.
Being an Employee Advocate
One of the best ways that an organization can keep high-quality employees around for a long time is by actively being an employee advocate. Employee advocacy can take on several shapes and forms, but some easy examples include, listening to and considering employee feedback, fighting for performance-driven raises and promotions, and even standing up for employees in their moments of need.
There are a wide variety of moments over an employee’s career in which a manager’s support would mean more than the world. Taking advantage of these opportunities to show your team members and employees that you truly are on their side and that you have their backs in moments of adversity can go a long way in fostering employee loyalty.
“If your managers and organizational leadership don’t recognize that the people who make up their staff are their largest asset, then they’ll continue to lose favor in the eyes of employees and consumers alike. There’s too much opportunity for people to settle for ungratifying and underpaying work.” –Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Fighting For You
Pulling for employee raises and promotions is one of the best ways that managers and team leaders can effectively put their actions where their words are. Organizations that prioritize promoting-from-within and performance-based recognition often have established better relationships with their staff that last a much longer time.
“Every dollar matters right now. When you can honestly go to your team members and tell them that they’re getting raises or bonuses for their performance, that’s a really good feeling. It raises everyone’s morale, and it isn’t hard to see.” – Liza Kirsh, CMO, Dymapak
Communicating with Honesty and Transparency
Another important element in employee retention is how communication is practiced within the organization. Being honest and transparent with your team members and employees is vital to the longevity of a team and to bolstering employee loyalty. Employees are very quick to dismiss their employers, especially when faced with lies and deceit.
“There is no excuse for a leader to lie to their team. None. I think honesty and transparency within operations is absolutely integral to creating a culture and environment that is conducive to good work and productivity.” – Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO, OSDB Sports
Honest and transparent communication is also important in establishing expectations. If team members feel like they’re meeting, or even exceeding expectations, and then management comes to them with a contrasting perspective, this can leave people both confused and frustrated. These feelings can lead to an employee’s departure, even if they’re one of your top performers. By communicating with transparent honesty, though, these miscommunications can be avoided entirely. Both employees and employers will have a firm understanding of the expectations, which will lead to a much stronger performance and a higher likelihood that the work is accomplished correctly and with high-quality.
“Communication has become an even more highly valued skill as the workforce continues to embrace a remote culture. The ability to communicate with honesty, transparency, and kindness is integral to a modern-day inclusive work culture that prioritizes employee retention.” – Andrew Adamo, VP, Bullion Shark
Treating the Team with Empathy
In the same vein as honesty and transparency is acting with empathy. Empathy is a very powerful emotion that we can share with one another and is a vital aspect of the human experience and connection. By treating your team members and employees with empathy, you’re not only recognizing them as human beings, but also offering them your emotional understanding and support. The ability to treat people with empathy, even in the context of a corporation or company, is crucial in conducting business in the modern day and age.
“Empathy is an important part of developing emotional intelligence. For a long time, business sharks were idealized by working professionals and entrepreneurs, but over time this perspective shifted. Today, there’s a much larger emphasis on social responsibility and acting with understanding and empathy.” – Karden Rabin, Co-Founder, Chronic Fatigue School
Empathy is especially important in employee retention because it creates a pleasant place to work. Work cultures with higher levels of empathy practiced by management, leadership, and team members often see higher rates of employee retention year-after-year. This is largely because two of the main reasons that employees report leaving a job is because they’re underpaid, or because they’re treated unreasonably.
“If you’re acting in empathy, you’re likely also paying fair wages and advocating for employee rights and benefits. You likely aren’t yelling and screaming in meetings, or publicly criticizing teammates. These practices go hand-in-hand because to act in empathy is to act on someone else’s behalf.” – Cayla Gao, Head of Influencer Marketing, Depology
Allowing for Flexibility
Looking at the other side of employee retention, we see a trend of work-culture-attributes that commonly pop up when employees discuss what would motivate them to stay at a job or a position. One of the most cited motivators to stay with an employer is work-life-balance and work-schedule flexibility. With the new aged work-from-home culture, employees have finally been able to take ownership over their work-life-balance and create a more productive, efficient, and healthy relationship with their professional lives.
“Employees truly appreciate the ability to work on a more flexible schedule. On the manager’s side of things, what do I care? As long as the work is done by the deadline, it doesn’t really bother me if it’s worked on at noon, or 3am. Just get it done and turned in on time.” – Matt Miller, Founder and CEO, Embroker
Hands-off Management Practices
In the same realm as flexibility is practicing and adhering to a hands-off management practice. This is the opposite of taking a micro managerial approach to leadership which has long been proven to be ineffective, unproductive, and an active contributor to employee turnover. As such, if you’re hearing reports that managers and team leaders are relentlessly micromanaging, you need to address this immediately. Otherwise, it will kill your workplace culture.
There are a variety of different management training programs out there that can help you retrain your middle-managers and team leaders in order to avoid falling into the trap of micro-management. Enterprise management training is crucial to staffing a roster of capable, high-achieving, and emotionally intelligent leaders within your organization.
“This is coming from organizational leadership; there is nothing worse than a micro manager. Having someone constantly peering over your shoulder is just absolutely counter-productive. No working professional wants to be subjected to that.” – Brook Hiddink, President and CEO, Audacia Home
Hands-off management, by contrast, offers employees a chance to truly own their role within the organization and find fulfillment in their work. It also empowers employees to bring up questions and offer suggestions for continual improvement, all of which nurtures employee loyalty.
“Hands off management is simply much more effective than micromanagement ever will be. This is because of the psychology involved and the fact that micromanaging leaves no room for employee engagement or ownership. By actively encouraging hands off management, your organization also shows employees that they trust them to be autonomous to some extent.” – Stefan Sharkansky, President, Personal Fund
A Few Final Thoughts
When it comes to running an organization or brand in the modern day and age, there is a lot to consider. From funding sources to product and service expansions, to digital marketing practices; the modern-day business owner has a lot on their plate. Included in this is fostering a healthy workplace that focuses on and prioritizes employee engagement, fulfillment, and long-term retention. By focusing on the employee experience, you’ll surely attract and retain high-caliber talent that wants to stay with your brand well into the future.
“The most successful retention strategies are those that make a meaningful difference in people’s lives beyond the office—for instance, providing flexibility that allows time for outside interests and responsibilities, and financial security and support that help pave the way to a successful and comfortable future.” – Kimberly Jones, Forbes Councils Member, Forbesshort url: