- Chad Eudy|
- March 1, 2022
Businesses have to worry about competition in a variety of areas, and for the most part, they know exactly how to get an edge in their market. There’s one type of competition that can be hard to address, though: employee loyalty. That’s right; your employees might only be with your company until a better offer comes along, which leaves you having to recruit, hire, and train new team members in what can feel like a never-ending revolving door of turnover.
So how do you build employee loyalty? Some people turn to incentives, planned career paths, or other perks. At FHI, we think it’s more about the employee experience than any extraneous or monetary benefits. We use four basic techniques to foster employee loyalty and create a work environment that shows our team how much they mean to us:
These techniques have helped us boost employee satisfaction and limit our workforce turnover rate. Our team members see the value of sticking with our company for the long haul, which gives us the opportunity to develop associates in entry-level positions into senior-level leadership.
We believe people are human beings, not human doings. Employees aren’t computer programs you can press “start” on and walk away. They need reasonable work hours and an opportunity to create their ideal work-life balance to preserve their individual wellness.
Aside from physical health, every person in your operation has goals and aspirations for their career. Odds are they aren’t working a job just for the paycheck, but for the opportunities beyond their current role. Your role as a leader is to help employees grow so they can attain these goals.
As an employer, you can use each employee’s talents to help develop them into valuable leaders at your company. Create a system for employee recognition to let them know you see the unique talents they bring to the table. When people know their skills are acknowledged and utilized, it helps them feel valued, which will boost their job satisfaction and loyalty to the company. After all, why would you leave a job where you know exactly how important you are to the company’s success?
At FHI, we use regular engagement surveys to get a pulse on how our employees feel and what their needs and goals are. We switched to these from our traditional satisfaction surveys because we realized how much more valuable engagement is than simple satisfaction. A satisfied employee might just be complacent, but an engaged employee is actively seeking out new opportunities to grow within the company.
Engagement has a huge impact on almost every facet of company performance — profits, customer service, safety, and even ease of management. An engaged employee is involved in the company, enthusiastic about their work, and committed to the success of the company.
In our survey, we gauge these feelings by asking people to agree or disagree with a series of 12 questions from Gallup. They include:
When you measure employee engagement you can see where your team is thriving and where people might need a bit more support. You can address each employee as an individual and show them you care about their development not just in the company, but in their personal pursuits as well. Going the extra mile to show you care about your employees’ success and mental health goes a long way to building loyalty among your team.
Praise and recognition are the fuel that ignites a person’s fire to do even more to serve others internally and customers externally. No one wants their hard work to go unnoticed. It can make people feel invisible or undervalued if they go above and beyond on a project and never receive any type of thanks or recognition for their efforts.
This is why it’s so important to create some type of recognition program in your company so you always reward and recognize employees who meet or exceed their goals and live out your company values every day.
We love rewarding and recognizing our associates when they live out our purpose and demonstrate our values in the community. We believe this behavior belongs in a manager’s everyday playbook instead of just at annual performance reviews.
The greatest part of recognizing employees is that it doesn’t have to be limited to their productivity. An easy way to encourage people to live out your company values and be positive stewards of your brand is to bring attention to those who already do. When your employees know you’re always watching, they’re likely to go out of their way to impress you.
At FHI, we make it a point to remember everyone should be praised and recognized twice as much as they’re corrected. This helps to keep up morale and reinforces that you see the value of each individual team member and how they contribute to their team. As you build up each team member, you’ll create a firm foundation of loyal employees who believe in your mission because they see you living it every day.
To keep up with this rate of recognition, we like to use bright spots, monthly spotlights, and PVV Cards.
An important aspect to remember about praising staff members is that not everyone will be comfortable with the same type of praise. Some people might love seeing their name and photo in the company-wide email, and others might prefer a personal pat on the back and a “good job” from their boss. The more you get to know your employees, the better you’ll be able to anticipate which type of recognition they respond to best.
We believe in developing the whole person to ensure they reach their full potential on and off the job. This helps employees develop self-confidence, be willing to take on more responsibility, and come up with creative solutions.
FHI offers a variety of programs that help us develop our associates and invest in their success. We have things like on-site technical training for specific job roles; live and virtual training sessions that include corporate training and leadership development; a Virtual Training Platform with over 10,000 courses employees can take to further their skills and qualifications; and an off-site cost-covered technical skills training program.
Preparing team members for new jobs within the company helps us maintain our employee retention because people know there will be opportunities to advance their careers.
One program that we find is most helpful is our life and leadership skills sessions. These are open to everyone from our senior leadership to front-line associates and they cover four topics:
Each of these areas provides unique insights into different aspects of business and how employees can develop themselves to become stronger in each one.
Investing in employee development can even help you retain your top talent long-term, thus reducing employee turnover. It shows team members that you are equally invested in their career advancement and willing to offer resources to help them reach their goals. It also shows new hires that there’s plenty of room to grow within your company, and if they make their career with you, they won’t be stuck in an entry-level position forever.
This type of dedication to employees’ success is crucial to develop true company loyalty among your team.
Despite what many people think, money only motivates so much. Plus, there’s always someone out there who can offer your employees bigger salaries or better benefits packages, which is why they need a deeper reason to stick with you. Especially now, in the midst of the Great Resignation, you have to be more than a short-term solution; you have to be a long-term career partner.
We focus on providing opportunities for our employees to take on more responsibility and help others by leading teams, heading projects, and guiding customers. One way we facilitate this focus is by promoting from within as much as possible.
We’ve been very successful with promoting from within the organization in various departments and aspects of our company. In fact, 90% of our FHI leaders started their careers right here! Internal advancement is crucial to maintaining a healthy culture and a connection point with each and every associate a leader encounters.
It can be incredibly empowering for team members to see a chance to rise in the ranks of a company if they’re willing to work hard and stick around. This creates a drive in every employee to be self-empowered and productive so they might prove their ability to take on more tasks and lead teams.
Having associates who are striving to make the company better means you will have a qualified talent bench that’s dedicated to the company’s success when you choose new managers and supervisors.
Finally, promoting from within is the ultimate way to demonstrate the other three principles we’ve discussed.
These four simple ways we foster loyalty among our employees are why we have so many people looking to join our team. Start showing your employees some appreciation today and see how it can change your company culture.
In any market, your supply chain can make or break your ability to compete well. Don't leave that to chance. We can help you create a stronger operation, so you never fall behind the competition.