While employees used to make a career in the same company a few decades ago, the median number of years that workers have dedicated to their current company is currently 4.6 years – 3.2 years for workers aged 25 to 34. Are workers less loyal to their employers than they used to be? Are expectations shifting?
One thing is sure: hiring and training new employees is costly for companies. Understanding what makes your best talents loyal to your company can’t help but improve your internal (and external functioning) in the long run!
1. A company that treats its employees well earns employee loyalty
Loyalty comes in both ways – and some companies may have forgotten to play their part. Indeed, only 54% of workers think their employer is loyal to them. This feeling may lead to a greater willingness to change jobs. You can’t expect your employees to feel loyal and dedicate themselves to your company without creating a mutual sense of loyalty.
Your employees are not a workforce that you can exploit and replace in a snap of a finger. They are the flesh and soul of your company. And they need to feel valued as such. A good healthcare coverage, an attractive vacation policy, flexible hours of work and such advantages are the cornerstone of a relationship based on trust and loyalty.
2. Aligning your recruitment with your company’s mission and values
A job is much more than a series of tasks to complete. Your mission, your “why” and your values can give your team members a sense of pride and build up their loyalty to the project, beyond the specifications of their job description. Today’s workers expect more than a list of responsibilities. They want to understand the meaning of their work, and even more: participate in building their company’s future.
Defining or updating your company’s mission, values, and roadmap is one of the deepest ways you can involve those who care and dare to give their opinion. And it will also help recruit new employees who are aligned with your purpose.
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3. Offering transparency on salaries
In the end, what differentiates paid work from volunteering is the salary. Team members don’t leave a company they like working just for a higher paycheck, but usually because they don’t feel valued enough in their job. Adopting a transparency policy on salaries can help to prevent a sense of inequity among employees and build trust between employees and their company.
That’s what Buffer decided to do. Not only do they share openly their formula to compute one’s salary, but they also display the result of this formula: each employee’s salary is available on a public spreadsheet.
Offering transparency on salaries is also a great way to fight against the pay gap between men and women, and help increase a sense of fairness in the distribution of the wealth that everyone in the company is creating.
4. Be humane first
The world of business can make us to forget who we are in the first place: humans. Having your wishes in terms of career evolution considered is key to imagine working in the long run for the same structure. Companies who want to earn their employees’ loyalty must show empathy towards the events of their personal lives too: a wedding, the birth of a child, a personal project, …
For instance in France, some 250 companies have signed a “Parental Act”, offering at least 4 weeks of paid leave to the second parent of a newly born child – quite a revolution for most OECD countries. Not only will this initiative participate in restoring greater equality between men and women in terms of salaries, recruitment, and career management, but it will also help new parents live this new challenge more at ease. And I can assure you that a dad who can spend the first weeks by his new-born child and wife will truly appreciate the gesture.
In the end, team members will always have personal interests in staying at your company or taking up new challenges. Don’t consider resigning as a betrayal. If you’ve followed all the points above, your team members will keep their sense of loyalty beyond your company walls. They may end up as clients, business partners, referrers for candidates, … who knows!
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash