Employee loyalty is a key component of a successful business. It’s essential for building trust between employers and employees, and can be the difference between a thriving workplace and one that lacks morale. Loyal employees are often more reliable, productive, and motivated to contribute to their company’s success.
And employee loyalty is not merely about retaining staff. Loyalty can lead to retention, but it’s so much more. It encompasses the emotional connection, commitment, and dedication that employees feel toward their organization. It is a reflection of their sense of belonging, trust in leadership, and alignment with the company's mission and values.
Fueling employee engagement, boosting productivity, and driving business growth starts with understanding what drives loyalty.
What is Employee Loyalty?
Employee loyalty is a trait where employees consistently demonstrate commitment and dedication to their employer. These individuals work hard, have a positive attitude, and consistently deliver excellent performance. Employees who are loyal to their organization are more likely to stay with the company for long periods of time, creating stability and continuity in the workplace. Furthermore, they are less likely to be swayed by outside forces or competitors when it comes to making decisions about their career paths.
Loyal employees also have faith in the values, mission, and vision of their organization, which allows them to remain dedicated even when challenged by difficult tasks or challenging times. They often display an intrinsic motivation to do the best for their organization, and do not need coaching to remain productive.
How to Improve Employee Loyalty
Unlocking the power of employee loyalty is a game-changer for organizations that want to create a thriving workplace. Here’s how to achieve it.
Build a Strong Company Culture
A strong company culture is a cornerstone for fostering employee loyalty. When your staff feels a sense of belonging and alignment with the organization's values, they're more likely to be loyal and invested in its success.
Articulating a clear and compelling mission, vision, and set of values creates a shared sense of purpose among employees. When everyone understands and embraces these guiding principles, it creates a unified culture and reinforces the organization's identity.
Actively involving employees in decision-making processes empowers them and fosters a sense of ownership. Consider involving employees in shaping policies, projects, and strategies. You could, for example, ask for their input when implementing a new tool or workflow.
Invest in Employee Development and Training
One of the key drivers of employee turnover is a lack of career development and potential advancement, according to research by McKinsey. When you demonstrate a genuine interest in your employees' career growth, it can improve engagement and loyalty.
There are several ways to invest in your employees’ growth. If you don’t have a big budget right away for learning and development, you can find and recommend free online courses. Platforms like Coursera and Khan Academy offer no-cost learning opportunities. You can help your team find training that aligns with their career goals and the organization's needs.
Another relatively inexpensive way to invest in your staff is by facilitating mentoring or coaching opportunities. You can establish a program that connects employees with other experienced professionals within your company. These relationships provide guidance, support, and valuable insights, empowering team members to navigate their career paths effectively.
If it’s within your budget, you could implement a learning management system and offer self-paced online learning modules that employees can access at their convenience. These initiatives allow them to acquire new skills or deepen their expertise in specific areas.
Transparency and Clear Communication Channels
Clear and transparent communication is vital for fostering employee loyalty, particularly with remote work and hybrid environments. A culture of honest communication is indicative of having compassion for your team, which can drive employee satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty. With this kind of culture, employees feel more comfortable expressing their opinions, concerns, and ideas without fear of reprisal.
One of the key components of transparency is keeping employees informed about important company updates, changes, and decisions in a timely manner. Using various communication channels such as emails, team meetings, newsletters, and collaboration tools to helps information reach all employees — including remote workers.
Regularly seek input and involve employees in decision-making processes to foster a sense of ownership and inclusivity. Consider establishing specific channels for employees to provide feedback, ask questions, and voice their concerns. You can send out regular pulse surveys (e.g., monthly or quarterly) so you have an ongoing plan to collect employee feedback.
Recognize and Reward Employee Contributions
Recognizing and rewarding employees is a powerful driver of employee motivation and loyalty. Employees who regularly receive support and encouragement from their team are eleven times more likely to feel more motivated to take action at work.
Try to personally acknowledge and appreciate individual employees' efforts and accomplishments. A handwritten note or sincere thank-you email can make your employees feel valued and recognized.
You can also establish formal recognition programs that acknowledge outstanding performance, achievements, and contributions. This can include monthly or quarterly awards, peer recognition programs, or spot recognition for exceptional work. Recognize employees publicly, whether through team meetings, newsletters, or dedicated platforms, to showcase their accomplishments and foster a sense of pride.
Consider offering monetary perks such as bonuses or performance-based raises, too. You can establish guidelines to ensure everyone is held to the same standards. Or instead, you could offer additional time off as a reward for exceptional performance or as part of your recognition programs.
Measuring and Monitoring Employee Loyalty
To continuously improve employee loyalty, it’s important to measure and monitor where your workforce is currently at. Regular monitoring allows you to track progress, make data-driven decisions, and take proactive steps to foster loyalty.
Here are several ways to measure and monitor employee loyalty:
- Track Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): An ePNS survey can be indicative of employee satisfaction and engagement, helping you identify areas of improvement. To collect data, send out a survey asking questions like, "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company as a place to work?" Then calculate eNPS by subtracting the percentage of detractors (those with a total score of 0-6) from the percentage of promoters (score of 9-10), excluding passives (score of 7-8).
- Monitor Attrition and Employee Turnover Rates: To calculate the attrition rate, divide the number of employees who left your organization during a specific period by the average number of employees in that same period. Multiply by 100 to get the attrition rate.
- Implement a Monitoring System: Establish a structured approach to monitor employee loyalty. This can include regular surveys, data collection and analysis, and benchmarking against industry standards or previous results. Utilize technology platforms to streamline the process and ensure data accuracy.
Wellness Programs Foster Employee Loyalty
Do you know one surefire way to boost loyalty and retention? Promoting employee wellbeing. In fact, 78% of employees said they would consider leaving a company that doesn’t prioritize wellbeing. Investing in wellbeing initiatives, like wellness programs, to promote work-life wellness can help you create an environment where employees feel a stronger sense of loyalty, leading to increased productivity and long-term success.
You can tailor your wellness program to include a range of benefits, including fitness classes, mindfulness sessions, health education, and more. These programs can improve the physical health and emotional wellbeing of employees and make them feel valued by you, their employer.
To learn more about how wellness programs can increase loyalty for your company, reach out to a Gympass wellbeing specialist today.
- Chodyniecka, E., De Smet, A., Dowling, B., & Mugayar-Baldocchi, M. (2022, March 28). Money can’t buy your employees’ loyalty. McKinsey. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-organization-blog/money-cant-buy-your-employees-loyalty.
- Potential Project. (2022, January 4). Leaders Are Alarmingly Out of Sync with Their Teams. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from https://global-uploads.webflow.com/5ff86e096165bce79acc825c/61d4d314d6b575a249a133b0_THL%20second%20edition.pdf.
- Tajmirriyahi, M. (n.d.). Four keys to goal setting that increase employee performance and reduce attrition. BI Worldwide. Retrieved June 9, 2023, from https://www.biworldwide.com/research-materials/blog/four-keys-to-goal-setting.
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.