What does it mean for employees to be loyal in today’s business world? More importantly, what does it mean for a company to have loyal and committed employees? For businesses today, it means just about everything. The heart of a well-functioning business is the employees that makes the operation run smoothly, delivers the services, sells the products and interacts with the clients. Some employers become so focused on the bottom line, on moving product, signing prospects, and doing deals that they forget the vital link between loyal staff and how the death or survival of their thriving business rests in their hands.
The Power of Loyalty
A great workplace has equally great employees who can help build a fledgling business into a full-blown success. Employees who are dedicated, consistent, and passionate about their roles can and should be considered loyal. Loyalty may be an inherent quality some are just born with but for the majority of people, loyalty builds and becomes strengthened and reinforced with the passing of time. Loyal people have a proclivity for seeing the best in others, in ideas, ideals, and possibilities. They are as personally invested in that which evokes their loyalty as one could ever hope for and in the workplace these people are more valuable than pure gold.
The same notion applies to customers. Many businesses depend on customer loyalty in the form of repeat clients who return again and again and act as unofficial brand ambassadors by telling others how wonderful a certain product, establishment, or employee really is. Loyal customers are the lifeblood of some businesses. Yet, where would the customer be without an equally dedicated staff member to service their needs?
So, what should a business do to acknowledge loyal employees and cultivate other staff to behave in a similar manner? The answer lies in valuing, acknowledging, rewarding, and appreciating these employees and harnessing their enthusiasm in ways that will continue to nurture and increase precious good will.
People perform better if they are given good reasons to and when employees feel genuinely valued, they will go to extraordinary lengths to display their loyalty. Employers can use this factor to mutually benefit both the business and its employees by providing a work environment that offers multiple incentives to stay, grow, and evolve with the company. The creative use of employee benefits can be a powerful means of fostering such an atmosphere.
Repaying in Kind
Benefits can include goods or services that may be difficult for employees to pay out of pocket such as health care, dental or optometry plans, club memberships, staff discounts, flexible work and leave hours, possibility to work remotely, free parking spaces, pension top ups, free medical check-ups, sports tickets, holiday bonuses, company cars, mobile phones, training packages, and more. Extra benefits equate to improved working conditions and they can often mean much more than cold, hard cash.
Any employer who believes that offering their valued employees extra money to secure their loyalty is definitely in for a rude awakening. If it was only a matter of price, then your competitor could easily poach your prized employee away with an even higher offer. Employee retention is intricately linked with job satisfaction and a sense of loyalty to one’s colleagues and employer. When the benefits are excellent and readily accessible, staff will rarely be looking to move on to imagined greener pastures.
Strengthening the Bonds
A unique slew of additional benefits are something that cannot be easily replicated by another business. An attentive employer will have built trust over time and developed working relationships that go beyond money. They will understand what motivates their employees and they will encourage their employees to use the benefits that they are entitled to as they see fit. When acknowledgement, praise, reward, and flexibility are linked in a tangible way to employment benefits, it firmly reinforces and maintains the foundations of employee loyalty.
The power of loyal employees cannot be underestimated and the value of benefits that are well implemented can serve to carry a business and lead them to greater success and growth.
Photo credits: first image by Graphic Stock, second image by thetaxhaven via Flickr