With so many professionals now leaving their current jobs and rethinking their future career goals, companies are looking for ways to retain their employees for the long term. However, it can be difficult for leaders to identify a clear strategy for loyalty-building and employee retention, especially with larger teams.
To help, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council shared strategies for leaders to build or earn loyalty from employees. Follow their advice to keep your best workers on board and satisfied for years to come.
1. Offer Flexibility
When employees have shared with me what they appreciate the most about our benefits or culture at Influence & Co., it seems to always come down to valuing flexibility—and I think part of that is because we provide flexibility in hours, work location, days off, how some benefits can be utilized and more because we truly trust and care about our employees. It’s easy to be flexible when you trust someone and want to make things work for them. If you have a really rigid work environment, you’re unknowingly telling employees you don’t trust them, and that will never build loyalty. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
2. Listen To Concerns And Ideas
If you want your company to earn the loyalty of its employees, you need to be willing to listen to their concerns. It’s important for employees to feel comfortable and listened to in the workplace so they can be their best selves. Also, their work and productivity levels will reflect how they feel being where they are. Regular check-ins with team members ensure that everyone is on the same page and that you’re aware of what’s happening in your company. It also gets rid of favoritism as you treat each person the same and give everyone the same time to speak and express their thoughts. – Jared Atchison, WPForms
3. Provide Growth Opportunities
After going through almost two years of lockdowns, loss and uncertainty, employees are looking for meaning in their work as well as job security. You can keep your best employees by making sure they are given plenty of growth opportunities in their positions. If you can provide more interesting work along with increased flexibility, you should do it. It will help your employees to feel valued, engaged and secure. Paying for or supplementing education will also help in these areas. And, of course, providing regular reviews and raises is vital to employee retention. – Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP
4. Allow Them To Lead Their Own Projects
With the rise of entrepreneurship particularly following Covid-19, it’s important to give your employees freedom to be creative and lead their own projects. This will give them a sense of ownership over their tasks and thus the benefits of being an entrepreneur while still working for your company. Following this, compliment them and praise their hard work. – Nic DeAngelo, Saint Investment Group
5. Help Them Achieve Their Goals
When interviewing, I’ll often ask how a role fits into someone’s broader life plans. If being on your team can help them on their journey, it builds deeper loyalty. Communicate that you want to be part of helping them fulfill personal goals. If you understand what their high-level goals are and help them achieve them, you’ll have a happier and more engaged employee. At Bounce, everyone on our core team has significant equity in the company. Giving people ownership creates a culture where everyone benefits from the upside and is invested in the outcome of their work. It gives you a team of people who make the best decisions for the long term. – Cody Candee, Bounce
6. Give Them Ways To ‘Level Up’
One way companies looking to establish long-term employee relationships can earn employee loyalty is by providing latitude in their position at the company. Often, employees leave their present role not simply because they don’t like working for the company, but because it’s the only way to “level up” their position. Most people want to feel they will be rewarded for their hard work, and if they become stuck in a position where they do the same thing every day with no way of moving to more challenging work, they search for outside sources to meet their needs. Sometimes this manifests as hobbies or side hustles, but more often it means finding a new employer that offers a more interesting role. – Richard Fong, ProcessingCard.com
7. Acknowledge Employee Efforts
To retain employees, companies must acknowledge and reward their efforts and accomplishments. No one wants to work hard with little to no praise. It can make anyone feel like their work isn’t valued or appreciated, and this can lead to a lack of motivation and productivity. To earn the loyalty of your employees, show them that you appreciate their efforts through different methods. Hearing verbal praise is great, but you can take it a step further with monetary bonuses. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
8. Drive A Positive Workplace Culture
No one ever forgets poor treatment, disrespectful comments or other negative behaviors at work. As a business owner, it’s your job to drive a workplace culture where open communication that’s respectful, patient and tolerant is normal. It’s not really possible to make overnight changes to your organization and keep people loyal. Good treatment and putting your people first needs to be done from the very beginning. You need to maintain such a culture and value your employees on a day-to-day basis. Reiterate your policies in employee handbooks and onboarding documents. Be an example in the way you talk to others. Give employees work flexibility and recognize their efforts. Such actions stack up and make a powerful impact and will lead to long-term loyalty. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
9. Offer Fringe Benefits
Offering fringe benefits is a great way to retain employees over the long term. Whether it’s Friday afternoons off, an extra two days off during the holidays or reimbursements for mental health sessions and fitness classes, showing your employees that you care about them will help you retain them. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC