Every company needs loyal employees to achieve business success. The bosses need to depend on people whom they can trust. More than just sharing information, these loyal employees can execute plans and strategies without much fuzz. However, building a pool of loyal workforce requires organizational development strategies that can challenge the views of both the management and the employees themselves. Moreover, there are excellent ways to do this. And unfortunately, there are pathetic ways to create loyal employees.
Insisting on loyalty
I had a job interview several decades back and I can never forget it. The manager asked me if I were willing to take a bullet for the president of the company. He continued by saying if I were hired the next day would I be willing to take the blame for any problems the company might have gotten itself into. Moreover, he said that that kind of loyalty was necessary to be employed in the company. Of course the first thing in my minds was “is this the Mafia?”
I told the manager that I value loyalty but it will take me more than just a command to be loyal to anyone. I thanked him for his time and told him that I was not the right person for the company. At the back of my mind, these people needed a dog that can fetch sticks for them when they pleased. That was definitely not me.
Employee loyalty is not shoved up anyone’s behind. It is nurtured through trust. Moreover, it is a two-way street that requires the right blend of respect and professionalism.
What to do:
- Build a reason why employees can trust the company – more than just the paycheck
- Provide ways for positive corporate culture change
- Live by the moral code and core values that each employee has to
Not reciprocating the trust
The employee-employer relationship is a fundamental relationship that has to be immaculate. Well, as immaculate as it can be. Unfortunately, many bosses and superiors see it as a power play between the big boss and the subordinates. Although the power difference exists; it still has to be maintained in a professional manner.
Employees work so that they can earn a living. The monthly bills won’t pay it self! And it is the employer-employee relationship that can help give everyone a win-win situation. Mutual trust exists between these two forces. The greater it is, the better it is for everyone. However, in many cases, the trust tips only to one side. Moreover, some employees are “forced” to trust their bosses so that they can get assurance for a longer tenure. I know managers who zealously let go of people just because they “do not fit in” in the company’s profile. This is often justified by saying if they don’t want what they get, they can go. To a certain extent this is a valid precept. However, I personally know someone who actually got rid of people simply because they can think for themselves for the betterment of the company. It was a dictatorship. It was not a healthy and professional relationship.
What to do:
- Create a motivational platform where an employee can truly enjoy his/her work
- Recognize exemplary employees while helping others improve
- Create a fair and just system to evaluate employee performance
- Provide a means for employee to share their ideas
- Provide empowerment projects and programs such as employee trainings, skills building seminars, and the like
Employees as mindless work drones
Another hurdle to employee loyalty and corporate success is seeing employees as mere work drones. Of course company workers are expected to accomplish tasks. But they have a mind of their own. Moreover, each person in the company has a set of values and beliefs that he/she holds on to. Although realigning individual value system with that of the company is essential, it is by no means expecting the person to become a remote controlled entity in the workplace.
When companies reduce hard-working employees to mindless machines, we dehumanize them and forget that they have human needs. Although, employees may function as they are expected, the motivation to actually do what they have to may dwindle. Employees are human beings and they have to be treated as such.
What to do:
- Create an employee relations division where employee concerns are addressed promptly
- Provide a feedback system so the management can hear what the employees are saying
- Offer a means to encourage innovation from all levels of the organization
A company that supports loyal employees can see business success easily. However, it is no easy task as every individual has his own agenda when it comes to working. From simply earning a living to making a mark in the industry, the reasons for a person to join in a company are numerous. Likewise, the way they can be harnessed as an integral part of the organization is also varied. But regardless of great the diversity is, corporate mindset should be one that put employee loyalty as a priority. It can be a daunting challenge for both huge and small enterprises. In the same manner, it is a challenge for well-established companies and the new ones.
Employee loyalty or the lack thereof can tip the balance of success.
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