Dollars and Sense: Employee loyalty can still happen today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Many business leaders and so called workplace experts believe that employee loyalty is dead. While it is a fact that employees change jobs more often today than they did prior to 1990, this does not mean that companies cannot build employee loyalty.

Twenty plus years of rightsizing, re-engineering, restructuring and just plain old straightforward employee layoffs have definitely made workers more distrustful of management. Recent high profile financial scandals involving public companies and a seemingly endless parade of dishonest executives only serve to build even more skeptical employee attitudes. However, it does not have to be this way.

If you are in a leadership role in your organization, the opportunity to build a loyal, productive staff is within your control. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

uBe open and approachable. To build trust with your staff, you must be available to them and receptive to hearing their ideas and concerns.

uProvide frequent feedback and coaching and not just at annual review time. Most employees want to do good work and want to know how they are doing. Build your coaching skills and help others elevate their performance.

uDoes your staff refer to the company as &8220;them&8221; or &8220;they&8221;? If you hear these words used often, it usually signals a disconnected staff. Get employees to take ownership of the organization. Set the example by always referring to the company as &8220;we&8221; or &8220;our&8221; or other similar references.

uIf management has special visible perks like reserved parking spaces, get rid of them or offer them to every employee. Look for every opportunity to show that, &8220;we are all in this together&8221;.

uPay for performance. Recognize and reward top performers to build loyalty. When everyone gets the same three percent annual pay raise, this absolutely demoralizes your top performers and drives them to consider other employment opportunities.

The lack of employee loyalty is almost always a product of poor management. Using these tips will help you get started towards building a dedicated and productive staff.

Kevin McKenzie is a partner in The Moser Group. He can be contacted via e-mail at