In my dad’s era, people stayed with companies for decades, or their whole career. Of course, companies didn’t do as many mass layoffs back then either. So we get that the corporate culture has changed. “Employee Loyalty” is tough to create, but not impossible to at least raise it! Here is what some research, and some opinions, suggest might help.
NO I mean really, genuinely care about their lives. You don’t have to be their best friend, whether you manage them or own the company they work for. But, authentic compassion counts. You can intuitively tell if they give a rats. Sheer fakeness you can sense a mile away. ~Having a kind, personal conversation, sending a handwritten thank you card or Birthday note (not from an assistant) or a gift cert to Starbucks occasionally doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.
LAUGH. Positivity in the workplace is a HUGE reason people are content and stay a long time. We ALL deserve a break from the stress and results driven work code. There is often a huge need at any job to laugh. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at what didn’t work as you seek to improve it. Laugh often and as much as possible. Create funny content somewhere in the workplace; in your employee manual, in otherwise blah emails, in signs hung in the break-room, on videos that are before or during staff meetings. Play funny (safe, tasteful) tricks. It will go a long way. ~Keep it clean and not at anyone’s real expense.
Keep them in the loop. People these days are empowered. Obnoxiously so at times. That said, they HATE not being in the loop. So- communication is very key. Bosses who are of the mindset that: “They don’t need to know!” On most things, leave most employees feeling small, disconnected with the company, the leaders, and most importantly the VISION. If they cannot wrap their brain or heart around the vision, it’s a temporary gig. You will be replacing them often. Enroll them. Educate them. Sometimes, do that crazy thing- ask their opinions. (In controlled ways and times) ~Let them know they matter, since they are at the heartbeat of making the business succeed long term.
2. Hire Right.
Everyone has strengths. Period. BUT, too many employers hire or transfer people into the wrong position for that employee. The employer or manager is then frustrated with “What the heck isn’t working??” Your top salesperson almost never makes a great manager- these jobs need totally different skill sets. Your top engineer probably won’t make your best sales rep. Again, generally speaking, the skills, personalities and training needed are way different. So don’t harass people to be good on what they suck at. It’s very UN-motivating. If they are not using their strengths 85% of the time or more in their position, they WILL burn out, and they won’t produce the kind of results you want. (*but their ego and possibly their paycheck increase will have them saying YES to the wrong job- if you offer it)
Get the right interview screenings in place, or hire an Interview consultant. The organizations I consult on Employment screenings use Gallup’s Strengthsfinders version 2.0 (in the US). This will reveal your employees top 5 strengths, in order. Then you and they can both know if they are in a job that organically uses their top strengths most of the time, OR if they can approach that job in their own way, in their best strengths. If they are not in the right role, MOVE THEM to a better one. ~You will both be much, much happier!
You may have thought money would be here at #1, but it isn’t. Research shows that “Happy Employees” are not as concerned with money as you might assume. General Well Being and happiness come from more than money, and we all know that today. Money can be made or lost, but contentment is tough to achieve. One thing that ALL people love, especially hard working employees, is to be appreciated, treated with respect, and told thank you. EVEN if what they are doing is their job. EVEN if it’s not “your style” to thank people often. Thank them. Tell them “thank you!” in front of their peers as often as possible. Don’t take credit for their good work, give them the credit. Find out where the great ideas are coming from. Give kudos. This promotes them doing those epic things more often. Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling of being taken for granted, every day. ~Remember when someone else took your positive ideas for improvement, implemented them, never mentioning you?
“A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” Jim Rohn
With charisma alone, influence becomes increasingly more difficult to sustain. With character, as time passes, influence builds and requires less work to sustain. John Maxwell
Certified International Business, Leadership & Life Success Coach