As a business leader or manager, having a loyal team of employees is gold dust. Who doesn’t want happy workers who plan to invest their time and skills into the longterm good of the company, after all? But how do you make sure you have your strategy and approach right, especially when you have a million things to do day-to-day? Read on for some simple, straightforward tips for increasing employee loyalty in the workplace.
Offer fair and competitive compensation
As the old saying goes, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. While we have nothing against our simian friends, it is vital that businesses reward their employees an appropriate and competitive amount. If they don’t, they risk losing them to competitors or, at the very least, discourage them from performing at their best. If budget is an issue, be honest with your team - and make every effort to compensate them in other ways; through great training programs or flexible working, for example.
Give employees space to work and grow
No one likes to be micromanaged. It promotes a culture of distrust and hinders performance. You need to show your team that you have faith in them and their abilities. On top of promoting loyalty, you’ll also benefit from more time to get on with your own workload.
Promote a great company culture
Candidates are increasingly seeking out companies that promote a great culture - even prioritising this over remuneration. Make sure your company culture fosters respect and that you, as the business leader, demonstrate good ethics at all times. Diversity and inclusion should be at the heart of your culture as should general workplace wellbeing. Encourage your team to be open about how happy they are working for you. Is there anything you could improve or do differently? Modern workplaces should be welcoming and comfortable. An environment where everyone can relax and be themselves.
Want to find out more about promoting an open working culture? Check out our blog on how to improve diversity and inclusion.
Encourage employee engagement
I am writing this during the pandemic lockdown when clearly employee engagement is tricky. But it doesn’t matter whether your team is working remotely or back in the office, it’s vital your colleagues are encouraged to socialise and collaborate with one another and are given the appropriate space to do so. Employee engagement also refers to how your staff interact with the company and its operations. Always try to ensure your employees are listened to; whether that be through 1-1 sessions, group forums or surveys.
Equip your team with the right tools
Even if you have a modest budget you should still ensure your employees have the right tools to do their job; whether that be tech, personnel or skills. If budget is an issue, then you might need to either lower your expectations of what your team can achieve with the tools they have or, in the case of training or personnel, perhaps you could introduce peer-to-peer learning programs instead - these are great for team building, too.
Invest in employee progression
We mentioned the importance of rewarding your team earlier. While competitive salaries are great it is also important to invest in employee progression. The first step is to ensure you provide adequate training when the team member joins the company - then continue to review and refresh this as they progress through the company. This could mean boosting their technical or academic skills or it might be investing some time and money into their so-called soft skills such as effective decision making, collaboration, problem solving or interpersonal communications.
Don’t assume that you know what kind of training an employee would benefit from either. Make sure employee progression is included as part of their management reviews and that they can be honest about how they want to grow in the role. You want to give them the opportunity to thrive and flourish not simply make them more effective workers.
Manage any issues swiftly and professionally
Good business leaders should operate a zero-tolerance approach to poor behaviour - and not just pay lip service to it. From employee induction to exit interviews, always endeavour to deal with any issues swiftly, professionally and ethically - and show that you have done so. If possible, set up an ethics reporting portal such as a hotline or app for people to raise issues in confidence.
Remove unnecessary uncertainty
If employees work in a culture of uncertainty or fear they simply will not perform to the best of their abilities. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be honest if things are going well - to a point - but your role is to instil confidence in your team and to support them. They should be shielded from top-level management stresses unless absolutely necessary.
Interested in finding more about how to support your team during difficult times? Read our blog about managing mental health in the workplace.
Increase confidence in your leadership
All great managers and business leaders know that it is all about the tone from the top. By doing all you can to support your employees - in the ways we mentioned above as well as many others - you will show that you care about their wellbeing and their overall experience of woking at your company. This, in turn, will give them confidence in your ability to lead well. Which should result in an increase in your own self-belief and boost your job satisfaction. So, a win-win for everyone.
Above all, keep listening to your employees as much as possible and respond to any requests or aspirations that they have. Good luck and let us know how you get on!
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