A job for life? Ways to encourage staff loyalty

By KMC Human Resources

14 Dec 2016

2017 will soon be upon us. A new year is often a time when people take stock and make fresh starts, which can include looking for alternative employment. This can be very costly for businesses so it is also a good time for companies to take stock and review their employment practices.

By Karen Credie, KMCHR.

Along with the way people use service providers such as banks, insurers and even supermarkets, it seems that the concept of staying ‘loyal’ to an employer is becoming a thing of the past. According to the Association of Accounting Technicians people nowadays have, on average, around 6 jobs throughout their working life.

Although there are benefits to both employers and employees of gaining rounded experience through working for different companies, once a company gets a good employee they will want to hold onto them. After all the cost and time involved in recruiting, along with the disruption caused to the business when an employee leaves, can run into the thousands.

Here are some tips on how to encourage staff loyalty in your business.

Strive to be the best employer you can be

Loyalty cannot be gained overnight and employers need to show there are mutual benefits from having long-term relationships with their workforce. If you show you are keen to develop better ways of working, you are showing a real commitment to both your company and your employees. One thing you could look to do is undertake an annual staff survey whereby you provide the opportunity for employees to feed back on what is and isn’t working in the company whilst giving them a platform to suggest ideas for improvement. A word of warning – if you are going to do this, make sure you are wholly committed to the idea. Having staff take the time to complete a questionnaire and then ignoring all the feedback garnered will most likely result in demotivation.

Get to the heart of the issues

If people leave the company, make sure you take the time to understand exactly why. Whilst sometimes the reason will be down to personal circumstances, there will almost always be an underlying desire for something they are not getting from their current role. Always invite a departing employee to attend an exit interview. If you do this effectively, over time you may start to see a pattern emerging. Should this be the case, be sure to take a long hard look at the issues that come to the fore and have the courage to take the relevant action.

Beef up your benefits

Although research shows that money isn’t necessarily the most important factor when trying to retain staff, you might be surprised how much influence a strong benefits package can have. Don’t just put together a benefits package based on what is easiest or the most cost effective. Make the effort to find out what people want and will benefit from. For example, health insurance can provide real peace of mind to people and may in fact be ‘valued’ far more than its actual monetary cost. Don’t forget to research the competition; people talk and if one member of staff leaves because they’ve been offered a strong package elsewhere, others may follow. For more help and advice on any of the above, or to speak to us about any aspect of HR or employee management, please get in touch.

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