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What Creates Employee Loyalty?

Angie Garcia
by Angie Garcia on February 14, 2012

According to a recent study by Right Management, a consulting branch of Manpower, 84% of employees have admitted that they hope to leave their current jobs in 2012. This number is staggering! It is up 24% since 2009 when the same survey was conducted.

We are long past the days when a 2-3% annual raise is enough to keep employees happily trucking along all year. In fact, many studies have shown that financial compensation is not one of the highest contributing factors to employee retention.

So what can you do to keep your employees happy and motivated?

  1. Allow for Flexible Work Schedules: With today's technological advances, we have the ability to stay in touch no matter where we are. This might mean the 8-5 workday is becoming a thing of the past. According to a study by Business 2.0 employees are 35% more productive when they are not tethered to their chairs. When employees are given the freedom of flexible schedules they are more likely to be results-oriented rather than keeping their eyes on the clock. "Employees who worked remotely one day a week and workers who had reduced their required weekly office hours tended to report higher job satisfaction, lower stress and higher loyalty to their company than employees who didn't have flexible hours," says Josh Clark, a reporter for Discovery News.

  2. Say "Thank You": We have heard it a million times, but they are not called the "magic words" for no reason. It is easy to take employees work for granted or to see the finished product and forget the path they took to deliver it. It is worth the moment it takes to let employees know that their hard work is recognized. A simple "thank you" has been proven to increase job satisfaction and boost motivation and productivity.

  3. Provide Opportunities for Growth: All jobs should offer employees an opportunity to grow. Few people hope to stay in the same position throughout their careers. According to the Wall Street Journal, Millennials are quicker to jump ship than any preceding generation, but these young employees yearn for opportunities, and are significantly more likely to stay with a company that offers educational and professional growth experiences.

  4. Don't Just "Allow" Time Off, Encourage It: 70% of employees did not use their earned vacation time in 2011, according to a recent Right Management study. Even more alarming, a study by Regus, a virtual office company, revealed that of the 30% who are taking vacation time, 66% plan to work while they are away. This means that over half of our work force is getting burned out. People need to a break! Managers should be cautious that employees always feel that they are entitled to take earned time off. Some companies, like Chicago-based Red Frog Events, have even adopted an "unlimited vacation policy". While this might sound extreme, owner Joe Reynolds is a firm believer in the policy. "It is not abused. Ever. By anyone." Reynolds said. "Simply make sure your work is getting done and make sure you're covered while you're away and that's it—no questions asked." Reynolds believes that his staff is significantly more productive with this policy in place.

  5. Keep Your Cool: Bad things happen. That's not just business, that's life. People make mistakes, we lose big deals, and projects fail. Being frustrated is understandable but getting angry is a pitfall that many managers fall into that can be devastating to employee morale. You will not fix the problem by targeting employees, but you will likely leave them distracted or worse, indignant.

Angie Garcia
Angie Garcia

Angie Garcia, VP of Marketing for FrankCrum, has over 20 years of experience in corporate and agency marketing, including integrated strategy development, branding, campaign planning and public relations. She manages marketing across all the FrankCrum companies. Angie enjoys boating, cooking and she especially loves being a mom.