Loyalty is not about controlling your employees or terrifying them into submission. It is rather about building a culture where everyone willingly contributes to the advancement of the company with or without supervision. They just want the growth of the business as much as you do.
What really is loyalty?
The Oxford dictionary defines loyalty as a strong feeling of support or allegiance. Everyone has the capacity to be loyal, but they get to choose who and what gets their loyalty.
If you were to ask everyone interviewed for a role if they would be loyal to the business, you won't get a no from any of the candidates even if there were hundreds of them. But you can't take that as an assurance of loyalty.
Also, an employee who has been working with you for a long time may not necessarily be loyal. They are probably still around because of the lack of a better offer. Now, this is not an attitude you want your employees to have toward work because they carry out every task knowing that they probably won't have to complete it if a better opportunity comes up. The implication is that they are distracted.
It is noteworthy that staff loyalty does not come with the pay, nor are staff obligated to be loyal to you. Obligation revolves around doing what you employ them to do. But of course, we know it takes more than that to build a successful and sustainable business. Everyone needs to put in extra, especially at the early stages.
Loyalty has to be earned. They will reward you with loyalty when you treat them well. Loyalty is really as deep as getting a better offer elsewhere but choosing to stay with the company because they are committed to the vision of what you are building.
Tips on building staff loyalty
- Create growth opportunities
- Reward efforts
- Clear communication channels
- Employee-centred policies
- Fair pay
- Constructive feedback
- Address toxic employees
- Clear misunderstandings early
- Prioritize employees' welfare
- Engage employees
- Celebrate milestones with employees
Building staff loyalty is not a walk in the park. It could take a while. However, watching out for the little red flags during interviews, interaction with colleagues, interaction with clients and handling the company's resources is key.
Always remember that loyalty should be a metric for promotion to a sensitive position because the wrong person in the wrong place can pull down your business like a pack of cards.