Building Loyal Employees

According to a study by the Hay Group, a global management consultancy firm, trust and confidence in top leadership is the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization.

Their research also showed that consistent communication in 3 areas was essential to building that trust and confidence. The three areas are:

· Helping employees understand the company’s overall business strategy.
· Helping employees understand how they contribute to achieving key business objectives.
· Sharing information with employees on both how the company is doing and how an employee’s own division is doing.

Now I’m going to make a pretty broad statement here and I want you to understand that I know what I’m about to say is not accurate for every organization but I believe that it is for most.

Most leaders are relatively effective at sharing their organization’s overall strategy and can almost certainly break out their organization’s progress by division or segment when that is required. Where they most often fall short is in explaining how each individual employee contributes to achieving the organization’s goals and objectives.

The scary thing is, of the three essential areas, knowing where “they fit” and how they contribute is most important for individual employees.

Most leaders are so focused on the results that they tend to overlook where the results truly come from. Systems and a good process only help get to the results, it’s actually people, human beings, who make the results happen.

Their efforts need to be recognized. Notice I said NEED! That need doesn’t make them weak, it doesn’t make them egocentric, it doesn’t make them “high maintenance,” it merely makes them human.

Every person you lead NEEDS to know that they matter; they need to know that the effort they put forth contributes to the success of the organization. You can’t let them know that too often, and you can’t be too specific. Make it a point to give them examples of exactly how something they did added value or made a positive impact.

If you’re leading a large organization you may not be able to share personally with everyone how their role makes a difference but it is your responsibility to ensure that leaders at every level of your organization let their people know that they and their job matters.

Once your people know that what they do matters they will no longer feel as if they “have” to do it, they will “want” to do it and they will want to do it well. They will trust you and their confidence in you and your organization will grow. They will not only be satisfied employees, they will become loyal to their role, to the organization, and to you, their leader.

They will become the people you need to have with you in order to succeed!

5 thoughts on “Building Loyal Employees

  1. It’s interesting that the Hay Group found that trust and confidence in top leadership was the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization. A few year’s back, Gallop said it was the front line manager that trumped top management when it came to employee satisfaction. Interesting that they reached a different conclusion. I agree with your post though.

    • Thanks, I appreciate your comment. I think the reality is that it ALL is important. When there are “gaps” in leadership, at any level, it will lead to less satisfied and less productive employees.

  2. Good post Steve.

    Good employees will bring their loyalty into the organization with them. It’s not something ‘created’ by the leaders of the company they work for once they get there. However, how leadership TREATS those employees, like you say, will determine whether or not employees continue to BE loyal and not eventually leave to work with a better company or group of leaders.

    Even if employees stay because they have no where else to go. Lack of loyalty or loyalty that once existed and has been snuffed out by uncaring leadership will suffer in other ways. The employees will indirectly reflect waning loyalty by no longer giving their best. Not necessarily consciously or on purpose either. Just more difficult to give when you know you don’t matter or what you do just isn’t appreciated it.

    This applies to any relationship.

    It’s not about keeping score to those who are generally loyal. yet after awhile…if a person’s sincere loyalty doesn’t reap a good harvest in terms of relationships…motivation will take a big hit.

    No one likes to feel disrespected, used, unappreciated.

    When people know a leader sincerely cares and has their back..and it’s not just lip service. Good people go to hell and back.

    However, ungrateful poor leaders have no right to expect that kind of loyalty.

    If it can’t be modeled…don’t expect it.

    Thanks for sharing Steve.

    • Wow, that’s a great point. People do generally come into new relationships, both personal and work relationships, with some “built in” loyalty. It’s the actions of others that will largely determine in the loyalty grows or diminishes.

      Just like most everything else, loyalty MUST be earned, it cannot be demanded.

      • It’s true. Unless people have plummeted completely into ‘cynical’ land and there is no trust or hope left period, we will keep an open heart and mind (even if cautiously) at the beginning of our relationships/ventures.

        Even in myself, I’ve been burned many times before, and I will still give people the benefit of the doubt ‘in the BEGINNING’! Primarily because I know that every person is different. There are no two people alike. Where there IS generally a problem is within the ‘collective’ mentality. ie. When our country had black slaves. The way white people thought and treated black people…that’s a ‘collective’ mentality that overrides individual belief systems. Same with gender issues, etc.

        So those are some of the exceptions. I can keep an open heart and mind going into my relationships, knowing and understanding everyone is different. But I can’t override any COLLECTIVE ‘conditioning’ that may currently be dominating society and culture at this time. At least not without help from many other people anyway! (grins)

        Yes, we bring our CHARACTER into our relationships from the beginning..including faithfulness, honesty, loyalty etc….yet beyond that, we earn it be how we treat one another.

        Every encounter we have is an opportunity to build trust, repair trust for someone, or continue to damage and bust it. In fact, I was reading about trust in a book last night by David Richo. And he shared how for those of us who have had our trust damaged in traumatic ways in childhood, it is still possible to recover and one of the ways that is done is when we encounter other adults who in small or big ways behave in trustworthy ways that ‘mirror’ and install what wasn’t for people when they were younger. And this is a way it begins to repair and the brain starts to ‘rewire’ as adults. Of course, this doesn’t happen with everyone. Yet I found it an interesting perspective and one I hope I can keep in mind for others too. Knowing how valuable and important trust is.

        Every encounter I have with someone is a potential opportunity to help repair and rebuild THEIR busted ‘trust’ … help rewire THEIR brain. It was a powerful message.

        Anyway. Thanks for the post Steve. Important topic!

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