Employee loyalty - from one way to two way, or the highway!
4 months ago by Michelle Mumford
Employee loyalty is when your people choose to continue working for you for a long time because they love doing so. It is the extent to which employees are committed and involved with their organisation.
There has been a range of articles out there recently that are not only conflicting but not actually true (IMO), such as ‘Employees are never fully loyal’ and ‘Employee loyalty is dead’.
I personally don’t think employee loyalty is dead, but it is changing. The pandemic has given rise to new ways of working, and with that people have looked at their own unique lives to desire a working model that works for them. It isn’t only employees with children or dependants who might require more flexibility now. Everyone has their personal preferences and ideas about how they can be worked without compromising their productivity in the workplace.
This doesn’t mean they are any less loyal, it just means the employee/employer relationship has become a two-way street. Employees continue to want to push themselves for the good of the business and their career progression but want an employer to recognise that both needs can be met, with maximum respect given to home life and well-being too. If this balance can be met, they’re still there, for the long term!
Employee loyalty is now firmly a 2-way process. Businesses now must view their employees as people; listen and work together to design a work-life that benefits everyone in terms of productivity, efficiency and happiness. It’s not easy to please everyone, but there is a reality now. People are very much more discerning and in a buoyant market, there will be other opportunities to explore. But rest assured, people do prefer to stay. They want to make it work if possible.
So, there is an element of acceptance to be had. With technology advancing, hybrid and remote working is set to stay. And, with employer brand continuing to gain momentum and importance, there is retention risk. Take Gen Zs for example; they are more used to change and statistically more open to moving on if better opportunities come up. Change is what they’ve grown up with, but that’s not to say they don’t have the fundamental motivations for belonging and recognition. They will stay too, in the right conditions.
We believe every employee regardless of stereotype, has the propensity to stay. The start is acceptance of a whole new world and then planning for success in terms of designing a business for retention and delivering on it. Flimsy intentions or unfulfilled promises will lose people! Generally, employees do know that it isn’t an easy journey that businesses are on so start with being seen to try and involve the team in your quest for everyone’s utopia!
And, if you are unlucky to lose a superstar, remember that some things are simply out of your hands. If someone identifies an opportunity that suits their needs, career ambitions and/or lifestyle better and you aren’t able to satisfy those goals, then it’s just one of those things. They were loyal as far as they could be.