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Encouraging Employee Loyalty and Sustaining High-Value Employees In Hard Times

Frustration for Employers

One of the more frustrating yet common problems employers face is employee retention. The problem could have its origins in dissatisfaction with the job, not enough salary, not seeing opportunities for career advancement, seeing greener pasture elsewhere, employee/boss conflict, fellow employee conflict or a multitude of other issues.

Some Important Issues about Employee Loss

  • It costs more to hire and train new staff as opposed to maintaining your current workforce.
  • The value of one hardworking, responsible employee is that he or she can actually take the place of one, two or even three less competent new hires.
  • In the midst of economic problems, companies look for ways to retain their most valuable employees by offering work incentives. These employees offer the most operation stability and profit potential to the company.

Of course, there are some instances wherein a company would require the talents of some fresh, 'new blood' in the person of new hires from outside the company. But more often than not, for the long-haul, it is more economical, practical and beneficial to the company to sustain your most valuable employees.

Good Benefits and Regular Compensation are Not always the Answer

Remember that even if you do offer a substantial salary, this is not a guarantee that you will be able to retain committed, hardworking and loyal employees. You should be able to offer something more. While generally you get what you pay for, studies show that salary and common legacy benefits alone are not the main factors for retaining good, dependable employees.

Employee Rewards for Performance

Did you know that some surveys have shown being offered a higher overall salary is not necessarily reason-enough for many employees staying with a company?

Rather than higher salaries, it’s better to show your appreciation by rewarding employee performance with increasing compensation based on an employee’s ability to bring the company increasing benefits. By rewarding performance, loyalty to the company can be fostered while the efficiency, quality and profitability of a company improved.

Performance-based bonuses or even profit-sharing opportunities based-on accomplishment are always good ways to encourage loyalty and grow a company to new heights. If employees feel valued and appreciated by direct compensation when they actually perform, they will be encouraged to stay the course with your company and continue to increase their job performance to boot.

Give Employees Freedom to Work around Flexible Schedules

Here's a good example. A working mother who is given the freedom to work around a flexible schedule so she can pick-up her kids or attend to other life-situations when she needs to is a great employee motivator. Perhaps you are in a position to allow telecommuting as a work option. Even if you require physical presence on the job, you may be able to allow some employees to work from home via computer or remote software certain days of the week. You can then rotate the schedule of telecommuters in a specific department, allowing certain employees to work from home on certain days of the week while other’s report to work on those days and then rotate the schedule between employees.

With the proliferation of the Internet and advancements in technology such as remote access and the ability to login to company servers from any location in the world, working around flexible schedules has become a lot easier. This way, the creativity and productivity of your current valuable employees will not be hampered and may even be encouraged to blossom.

Life, for all of us, is complex and filled with unexpected and sudden needs. To be able to have more time at home can be invaluable for just about everybody. This freedom does wonders for employee loyalty and moral and can in itself help ensure long-term employee retention.

Employers Helping Employees Grow and Learn New Skills

Another key motivating factor that you can use in keeping high-value employees is to help them grow and learn new skills and talents. An employee will feel as if they are becoming more valuable to the general working world if they are able to obtain new job skills while working for your company. On the surface this may seem a little bit counterproductive but the fact of the matter is employees need to feel secure and by building additional skills you are giving them more options for a chance at securing their future – no matter what happens.

Integrate Work and Life Issues

Some companies offer child care services for all of their employees. This is a great assistance for working moms. Others actually offer a workout room or gym facility to allow help their employees stay in shape. Some companies even maintain leisure rooms and specified rest areas where employees can recharge their batteries. Remembering that your employees are people too and not just workers, they are people with the same problems and issues you face in life on a daily basis. You need to assist them in creating equilibrium between their work and home life which is critical for maintaining well-balanced, healthy and happy high-value employees.

Plan an Employee Appreciation Day

Set aside one day on a regular basis for some time that shows your gratitude for your employees. Throw parties, picnics or an out-of-town event to show your appreciation for your employees in a fun way; and don’t forget to invite their family members to attend. Company teambuilding events offer a unique opportunity to build comrade specializing in building employee teamwork provides invaluable

Establish a Feedback Forum

People will work for a company longer and be happier if they feel they have some say at directing the company. They must know they are valued in that their voices are heard and they have the opportunity to make a difference in the operation of the company.

Businesses can integrate a company network or web-based forum application solution where employees can interact and present their ideas and raise issues about possible problems at the company or with their individual situation. While this is a good way for communication with management, employees must know that their feelings are being heard in that a boss or management is actually moderating or viewing the feedback they provide to the forum. It’s so easy to setup a forum and then ignore it, leaving it to fade into oblivion and obscurity.

Say Thank You to Your Employees

Saying the simple words “thank you” may seem unnecessary or even outright wrong to a person in a supervisory position or as someone who is paying for an employee’s services. Remember, your employee needs to feel valued and appreciated, and it’s up to you as a owner or boss to ensure they get what they need. After all, isn’t that what all of us wants for a job well done? A simple thank you will do wonders at encouraging a much more positive work environment and bring an attitude of gratitude to the workplace. Make this a regular habit and you will be on your way to encouraging employee retention and loyalty.

Be the Company that People want to Work for

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are a company that people want to work for. To prevent having a high attrition rate, you should see to it that the rules and procedures of the company showcase the fact that the employees are your number one asset.

Continuously reward loyalty, hard work and commitment to the company. Make the working environment fun and efficient and more than a work-environment. Communicate with respect, letting your employees know how you appreciate them. Provide opportunities for career growth, and always recognize and reward good performance.

If you follow these tips, retaining high-value employees will become a norm rather than an exception. Word will get around your company is a caring and compassionate place to work.

There's no doubt that for employers, committed, loyal and hardworking employees are their best asset. By learning how to retain high-value employees, you and your entire workforce can focus more on the overall success of your business.

Article Custom Written/compiled for Job Service Help by Mabelle Sese of The Filipino Worker Company. Added July 10, 2009

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