In most industries, including Consumer Products and the data driven field of Analytics, the days of employees working for one company for 30 years is passé. Hoping your employees stick around out of sheer loyalty is no longer a reality. The battle for top talent now fluctuates between a candidate-driven and an employer-driven marketplace. Despite this shift, there are organizations that consistently secure and retain the best and the brightest and create a thriving culture that engages, enriches, and fulfills the employees within their walls. What are they doing to encourage loyalty?
1. Strong Leadership
Employee engagement is a critical aspect of loyalty. And strong leaders are the most important source of growth, inspiration, and long-term employee engagement. Take an active role to make sure managers are trained to inspire employees, share their expertise, and offer opportunities for growth. This can be taught, monitored and managed just as much as the achievement of sales quotas or quarterly objectives.
Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart, shared: “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” Empowering employees and boosting their self-worth breeds trust, and that trust breeds loyalty. Loyalty is earned, and the strongest manufacturing plant is human connection. It is done by enabling the successes of others, improving the performance of others, giving meaning to tasks, and modeling the behaviors you expect.
2. A Personal Touch
Technology is designed to increase communications, but it can also have an adverse effect on relationships and productivity. Many managers and leaders would rather send an e-mail or leave a voicemail than actually talk to their team face-to-face. Employees require real-time and personal communication; even in organizations with thousands of employees, each manager and department head should be required to schedule regularly occurring face time with their staff. During these personal interactions, this is a prime opportunity to assess if the employee feels as though they are contributing, using their talents appropriately, and are evolving in their role.
Asking these types of questions may seem counterintuitive – why bring up issues that may not need to be brought to the surface? But the more the answers to these questions can be discussed openly and a collaborative partnership can be cultivated between employee and leader, the stronger the trust and the greater the loyalty. If people have the ability to provide open feedback related to the organization and their career, they are less likely to leave to find what they need. Inspire loyalty by giving employees a sense of freedom and control.
3. Culture & Identity
Creating a corporate culture that is open and encouraging is another great way to ensure loyalty. People want to be a part of “the bigger picture,” and want to be a part of something that is meaningful and rewarding. A work environment where they are not just recognized for their own achievements, but can gain personal benefits when they align themselves with a bigger purpose will be beneficial for the company and the employee. Provide the positive culture and encourage the community spirit and they will rarely leave!
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