How To Improve Employee Loyalty: 6 Great Ways

Philip Cleave
February 22, 2024
Picture showing how your loyal employees are also positive advocates for your business

While most people recognise the importance of their staff to the ongoing operation and performance of their organisation, less consideration is often given to how loyal those employees are. Yet, loyal staff are just as vital as the total headcount of employees you have, because those who are fully committed to your company are more likely to perform their jobs to the best of their ability and stay with your business long-term. And it’s for this reason that employee loyalty is so valuable to a company’s ongoing success.

Employee retention and loyalty typically goes hand in hand, with the relationship between employees and their employer meant to be a mutually beneficial one. Yet, in recent years, particularly in our post Covid world, this balance has slipped a little, with some organisation’s not reciprocating in equal measure to their employees’ efforts leading to ‘quiet quitting’.

With this in mind, let’s explore the issue of staff loyalty in a bit more detail, before looking at some ways you can increase employee loyalty among your own workforce.

What is employee loyalty?

When we talk about staff loyalty, we’re referring to a set of emotions that helps create a strong bond between the employee and their employer. In this scenario, where the employee and their employer share the same values and goals, and have established sufficient trust and respect, staff are inspired to stay with their employer long term and become a positive advocate for their business.

Why staff loyalty is important to organisations

In today’s ever more competitive, yet unpredictable world, the benefits of having committed, hardworking employees has never been more important. This is because such loyalty and stability are important to keeping a business afloat when everything else continues to change.

But this is not the only thing. The more loyal employees you have the better, as their enthusiasm and commitment can easily rub off on other staff, positively impacting them and your wider company culture – leading to greater employee retention rates as a result.

In addition, some of the wider benefits of improving employee loyalty levels within your organisation include:

  • Reduced employee churn
  • Increased staff engagement and productivity
  • An increased volume of satisfied customers
  • Improved brand image
  • A healthier company culture
  • Increased revenue

Why it’s important to listen to your employees

Having read about the importance of staff loyalty and it’s benefits for your business, we’re sure that many of you will be looking to crack on with trying to improve levels of loyalty within your own business.

However, before you do anything else, you must start by actively listening to what your staff have to say. This is really important, as those employees who feel most heard, are more likely to feel good about their employer, work harder and be more loyal to them as a result.

Fortunately, there are tools available to ensure staff feel listened to, and the best of these include getting their feedback through a range of employee surveys and measuring their loyalty towards your organisation through metrics such as the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).

This is a great way of reaching out to your staff and showing them that you’re interested in what they have to say. However, if you’re to achieve the greatest results in improving your workforce loyalty, you need to act on what they have to say, otherwise you’ll risk disengaging them.

6 great ways to increase employee loyalty

While an ongoing programme of employee survey activity helps you to keep on top of staff sentiment in your organisation, there are some other initiatives you could run alongside this to help build employee loyalty.

Here are some ideas to consider:

Be more approachable

While surveys are a great way to show how much you value employees’ opinions, by breaking down barriers of hierarchy and making greater efforts to humanise management, you can further nurture an environment of openness and approachability for staff.

This could involve simple acts and gestures such as making friendly eye contact and saying hello at the coffee machine to giving direct feedback in a more communicative and collaborative way. You could even think about hosting a relaxed weekly team meeting that encourages digressions away from organisational talk, so that everyone has a chance to speak freely. Such acts help build employee loyalty by creating a greater rapport between managers and team members, as well as between team members themselves.

Regularly share company news and performance information

Staff are typically more loyal when their organisation is transparent. This contrasts with employees who don’t have a clue about what’s happening in their organisation, and therefore much less incentive to go above and beyond.

When sharing company updates, it could give you the opportunity to discuss topics ranging from the latest sales figures and expansion plans to feel good staff news, which could include anything from who’s having a baby to who’s doing a sponsored charity activity.

These updates could be communicated in a variety of ways from company-wide emails or an intranet system for company communications, to good old fashioned team meetings conducted virtually or in-person. In addition, informal team meetings are another good option for sharing internal news. Not only do they provide a relaxed environment for employees to communicate and build confidence by speaking in front of others, but their informality helps foster an ever-greater team spirit.

Offer recognition

While we’d all love a promotion, or a big pay rise every year, we know that’s pretty unrealistic. So, for most people, just having recognition of our hard work or being thanked for a job well done is enough to make us feel valued.

In fact, according to research 9 out of 10 employees are willing to sacrifice a percentage of their lifetime earnings to experience greater meaning at work.

While we all recognise that money makes the world go round, it isn’t the sole driving force behind staff satisfaction and engagement.

So how can you recognise an employee for their performance?

Well, a simple ‘well done’ can go a long way. You might also want to give them a ‘shout out’ in a company-wide communications update. Or maybe you can give them more job responsibilities.

Provide more flexibility

Following the rapid shift to remote working during the Covid pandemic, there was a lot more discussion about greater work-life balance. And while not everyone still has the luxury of working from home, there are ways of improving the work-life balance for staff, wherever they might work from.

Being more flexible when it comes to giving staff time off, is just one great way of gaining greater respect and appreciation from them.

Whether it’s arriving 10 minutes late in the morning and making their time up later that day, or needing to leave early to avoid traffic jams and coming in earlier the following morning. Whatever it is an employee needs, providing them with some short notice flexibility with their working hours will make a big difference to how positively they view you and their subsequent loyalty towards your organisation.

In the post-pandemic world where Millennials and Gen Z make up a large percentage of the workforce, such flexibility will only become more important as we move forward.

Consider inflationary pay increases

Although we said earlier that money isn’t everything. The fact is you need a certain amount to survive on. And given that the value of money goes down every year, it means that your salary won’t have the same real-world purchasing power from one year to the next.

Every employee who has experienced this knows how demotivating it can be to potentially take a pay cut year if there’s no company support. Just improving salaries by a few percent can be enough to keep staff happier and more loyal to their organisation.

Encourage learning and progression

While we all recognise that some individuals need to feel comfortable in their role in order to remain loyal, others need to be continually challenged and trying new things to feel the same way.

Consequently, if you make the mistake of pigeon-holing all your employees when it comes to their roles and expectations, this could lead to dissatisfaction and an increased turnover rate.

Subsequently, if you’re open to letting employees try new things and giving those that want it greater career progression opportunities, you’ll gain greater staff trust and appreciation.

Employee loyalty is an ongoing process

We hope you found this blog interesting and informative, and if you’ve not already got an employee loyalty improvement plan in place, you can see the value of implementing one.

The key thing to take away is that whatever stage you’re currently at in your efforts to build employee loyalty within your organisation, it only takes a few small steps in the right direction to see an increased level of staff appreciation and engagement. And if you’re able to run an ongoing programme of survey activity alongside side this, you’ll soon be getting the insight to make the changes you need to get your employees fully onside with your organisation.

Don’t forget to deliver the right employee experiences too

While it’s important to get some incentivising initiatives in place to engage and motivate your staff, you mustn’t forget to deliver great experiences, as they’re equally important to improving levels of employee loyalty and morale. However, you’ll need the right survey tools to help generate great employee experiences.

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