It’s common business sense that it’s easier, and cheaper, to keep your existing customer versus finding new ones. This sage advice translates to employees as well, and human resources departments may do well to view their workforce as customers of the organization. As the cost to replace an existing employee continues to rise and turnover in the down-economy remains high, keeping talented workers and effectively managing employee loyalty is becoming more important than ever.
So here are three cornerstones to think about in your pursuit of increasing employee loyalty:
Your employees rely on executive leadership and human resources to set the vision from the top down. You are a road-map to organizational success, but unless it’s communicated it will not be understood and acted upon. Financial goals, strategic objectives and corporate milestones mean nothing unless they make it out of the boardroom, and HR is equipped to be the propellant to make sure this happens effectively.
But even more important than goals and strategies is a company mission that can be easily embraced. Few college graduates entering the workforce arrive their first day on the job hoping to “Increase profit margin by 30% in Q3″. But too often these are the types of success measurements we give them. The mission therefore gives context and is the emotional connection between lives changed and dollars earned.
Your employees want to be part of something bigger than themselves – communicate that vision to them in a way that compels them to be on board.
Do your employees understand their sphere of influence and levels of responsibility in their career? Or do they feel unguided in ill-defined jobs? Employees need a strong balance of guidance and autonomy. Clear definition needs to be given around roles, responsibilities and expectations so that “success” isn’t a murky, unachievable buzzword. But every employee, according to their strengths, will go about executing on roles and responsibilities in different ways that are natural to them. Meaning, don’t give so much definition that an employee feels handcuffed and forced to do their job in a way that’s uncomfortable or unnatural to them.
Highly motivated employees will want to manage their career as if it were their own business, achieving and even over-achieving company goals in their own way. Finding that comfortable balance between guidance and autonomy will free your workforce to truly succeed.
The powerful psychology of being rewarded and recognized for a job well done cannot be underestimated and sets a foundation for continued success and development. Whether the rewards are financial or emotional, it’s important to place as much emphasis on recognizing the accomplishment as you have the struggle towards the objective.
Pursue Employee Loyalty For the Long Term
Think long term about an employee’s tenure at your organization, and invest in their future. Through ongoing training, personal development, and requests for feedback you are planting seeds for the future. Your investment in them in turn invests them in you.