Employees who jump ship are in some ways similar to the fabled canary in a coal mine. If they start leaving your company on what seems like a regular basis, it’s a huge red flag that something is wrong with the way they’re being treated.
Conversely, loyal employees are productive and actively concerned with what they can do to grow the business. They are more willing to offer constructive ideas and share what they know with other employees. Generally speaking, they’ll work longer, take better care of company resources and—most importantly—treat your customers with the respect and courtesy they deserve.
Part of your role as CEO or business owner is spearheading an “internal marketing program” aimed at this critically important constituency. Employees must understand how much they are valued and that it’s your wish to keep them on for the long run.
Here are suggestions for fostering employee loyalty:
Match job duties with employee skills. Each of your employees is good at some aspect of business operations—or you wouldn’t have hired them. It’s up to you to make sure there’s a good fit between their skills and their assigned job duties. Everyone feels better when they’re good at what they do.
Let people know what you expect of them. Employees who don’t understand the leader’s expectations—or receive confusing mixed signals about those expectations—become stressed and uncertain of job security. Communicate your expectations and criteria for success, so employees clearly understand how their contributions help the business and the standards they’re expected to meet.
Offer room for growth. Do you make a point of hiring from within? An employee who sees no way to move up or expand her skills will naturally begin to look elsewhere. As new positions open up, encourage workers to apply and, when possible, promote the most qualified current employee to the next level. This single action, as much as anything else, sends a clear signal about the value you place on employee retention.
Provide the right tools and resources. The best employers place a high priority on having the right technology in place, while also providing access to training programs where their workers can broaden their skills for the future. Most employees will find it very difficult to leave a workplace environment where they feel constantly challenged to grow and they have the tools to make growth happen.
Encourage employee autonomy. Like you, the people you employ lead challenging, complicated lives. Maybe a flexible work schedule would better suit their personal needs. Empowering employees with a choice, such as the opportunity to work from home, demonstrates your faith in their judgment.
Although it seems like your attention should be relentlessly focused on sales and customer acquisition, it’s equally vital that you maintain a satisfied, productive workforce. Understanding your employees’ needs will make you stand out as an employer of choice, which means you can attract more great talent in the future.
If you’re ready to ready to grow as a leader and actively inspire the people who work for you, join other CEOs, managers and senior-level executives in a confidential group setting where you’ll be challenged and rewarded like never before in your professional life. Learn more about becoming a Catapult Group member today.