How to Keep Employees Loyal

The average turnover rate since 2002 has stayed steady between three and four percent.  Many businesses have far higher averages than that.  Since 2008 an even worse problem with employee loyalty has steadily grown: people who quit and stay.  I have been in many businesses where people are there only because they have nowhere else to go.  Guess how productive those employees are.

Not only are the employees who quit and stay decreasing their productivity, but think about what they are doing to the people around them.  They are the ones who are keeping the rumor mill churning.  They are the ones who are complaining.  They are the ones who are having side conversations with the rest of the staff, bringing down their morale and enthusiasm for the job as well.  If that is the way that they are with their fellow employees, how are they treating customers? I have been a customer in front of many employees who are only there for the paycheck.  I am sad to report that that is usually what I expect when I go out to shop for something.  Do you expect anything different?

Now the hard part.  Most people don’t leave a company, they leave their boss (or their coworkers).  The majority of people leave the situation they are in because of their relationships with the people around them.  So how do you grow loyalty in those around you?  Involve them.  Here are a couple of ideas on how to do that.

Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.  

What do you think would work best here?  What ideas do you have for how to build this/fix this/change this?  What do you believe would work best with him/her?  These questions and more give you two distinct advantages over just telling people what to do.  One is that, quite simply, people don’t like to be told what to do.  If you can get them to tell themselves what to do, they take ownership.  They are more accountable and more likely to do whatever it is because they came up with it.

Two is that you are going to find new and better ways to do things.  If you give your people the opportunity to figure things out on their own, not only are they going to remember it better (decreasing the amount of times you need to retrain), but they might just find cheaper, faster or improved ways of getting from point A to point B.  This is innovation at the ground level.

Become genuinely interested in other people.

I can explain this one with a very simple example.  I have walked into countless rooms and given people a list of question areas to ask someone else in the room.  I then give each person three minutes to ask one person questions and dig deeper with the answers that they get.  Without fail, 99% of any group that I work with will admit that they now know more about the person they have been questioning for three minutes than the people that they spend 40 hours a week with.

This is true for bosses, employees, salespeople and customers.  If you feel that someone you are working with is genuinely interested in you, you had better believe you are going to be more excited to work with them then if you feel the opposite.

Try out these two concepts with the people that you work with. You will be amazed by the results.  If you would like to go deeper and really create the culture that you want in your workplace, give me a call.  My phone number is 515.724.3163 and my email is Ryan do Lynch at Dale Carnegie dot com.  I can help.

~Ryan Lynch