6 practical tips to improve employee loyalty

Many SME owners I talk to all bemoan a similar issue – it’s hard to hire good help nowadays! We have all heard the statistics on the cost of replacing an employee is around 10-12 times the monthly salary. So what can we do to make your employees stay loyal?


The traditional methods would be to pay more, or provide more benefits. But these things might “buy” some loyalty in the short term, the key is to somehow look at what you can do to engage your employees so they will go that extra mile for you. After all, happy and engaged employees will lead to happy customers. Here are 6 tips that you can consider to help you improve the loyalty of your staff.

Tip No. 1 – Welcome your employees!

When someone leaves, typically fellow colleagues would arrange a card, a farewell gift, perhaps some afternoon tea or a lunch. Why not do the same for when your new staff joins? Imagine turning up on the first day, and there is a welcome card on your desk, signed by your colleagues welcoming you onboard! Or if there is a welcome party for you, a speech from your boss and a cake to share!

On-boarding is not just about having the desk ready for the new staff – sometimes the small gestures like a welcome card from your colleagues will make your new hire feel more welcome and immediately engaged to the company. I even suggest asking a different employee to take the new staff out to lunch for the first week – you get some good one on one time with the staff, and they get a good feel of the culture you have and puts them in the right place to be a loyal employee.

Tip No. 2 – Be a good boss

The number one reason for someone leaving a company is in fact the boss. Look at how you interact with your staff, and in turn how they interact with their direct reports. As scary as it sounds put in a 360 degree evaluation process, and ensure you listen to the feedback. Seems simple enough - after all it would be too late when your star recruit walks out the door to your competitor!

Tip No 3 – Share your core values

Whilst you should listen to feedback on being a good boss, one thing you should stand firm on is your core values. Identify clearly what these are, and ensure your staff know them. They should all know what the business stands for, what are your principles and hence the way you do business. Select the staff who only share these values too to ensure you have a like minded team, all pulling in the same direction.

Tip No. 4 – Give your staff something to brag about!

One easy gauge of how loyal your staff is to you, is what they will say about the company with their friends and family. Give them something to brag about – be it the free breakfast you provide every day, or the special discount on the latest gadget you sourced for them. These seemingly small gestures are what people will identify as stand out elements of your workplace and is what they will telling all their friends about (think Google with their sleep pods or free food)! The more they are likely to talk about how proud they are of their workplace, the more they are likely to go above and beyond the call of duty for you.

Tip No. 5 – Help your staff to keep healthy

Promote a healthy lifestyle and lead by example. If your staff are healthy and fit, they are going to be productive and full of energy to tackle anything that comes their way. We have a weekly team badminton game in the office, and I know its something that everyone looks forward to. It’s a good bit of team bonding, but more importantly gets everyone active, both physically and mentally.

Tip No 6 – Have a staff work-life balance plan

There is no point doing one off or random activities, as your staff are not going to value them as much. Make sure there is a plan in place, to show that your company cares about the staff – whether it is the weekly badminton game, fruit on Monday or a monthly team outing. It shows your commitment and that you do care about them.

So in summary - give your staff a clear vision, treat them well and make them be proud to be your employees. Give them reasons to brag about it to their friends and you will get a loyal team to help you achieve your business goals!

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