When the going gets tough, business owners tend to focus on the hard numbers – sales figures, customer reoccurrence and the like.
While doing this is essential for keeping a business running, many businesses overlook the importance of employee loyalty in this equation. And they do so at their peril.
In order to retain valuable staff members – especially when times are tough – you need to build their loyalty to your company.
How do you do this?
The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management has some suggestions…
Five ways to build employee loyalty to improve staff retention
1. Build your company brand: Having a fixed company identity or brand gives give your employees something to relate to. 'Once your employees can identify with the company vision, mission statement and brand, their loyalty is more likely to remain with the company,' explains recruitment consultant, Pleia Alberts in The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management .
2. Resolve employee concerns quickly: Don't wait for your top performers to resign before finding out what's made long-term staff stick around. Be proactive and ask them what makes them stay at the company, why they would leave and encourage them to let you know as soon as they become unhappy.
3. Communicate openly and honestly with your employees: Ensure there's a regular flow of information and feedback between you and your employees to build more employee trust and empowerment. 'Be truthful, authentic and trustworthy in your dealings with your customers and employees,' advises Alberts.
4: Be a good leader: Choose your leadership style to suit the maturity level of the people you're attempting to influence – namely your employees. By talking to employees the right way, you'll be able to get their buy in and their loyalty far faster.
5. Focus on employee job satisfaction: 'Job satisfaction comes with an employee's sense of achievement and success for doing a job he enjoys, doing it well, and being rewarded for his efforts,' explains Alberts. Because job satisfaction is linked to productivity and personal wellbeing – it's a vital element for cementing employee loyalty.
And don't forget: Employee loyalty usually means a happier staff. And when your staff is happy, they serve customers better and this will directly filter to your company's bottom line.