Employee loyalty to the employer is expressed in the employee’s positive and trustful attitude towards the company, sincere desire to work and sometimes even more than what is indicated in the job description. It is not a secret for anybody that often people do not trust employers, they work exclusively within the framework of their duties and to receive a specified salary. Such employees are bezinitiativny and it is not surprising that every employer dreams of others - "loyal" employees. But not all employers understand that employee loyalty begins with the significant efforts of the employer to gain confidence in themselves. In this article I will talk about typical situations in which employers find themselves, aspiring to the loyalty of their employees.
I help companies in the selection of qualified IT professionals, the search for which is always difficult. In recent years, I have deeply studied the problems of recruiting and adapting new employees, the reasons for unsuccessful recruitment and dismissals, the processes of working within companies, helped to adapt new employees. She worked with both Russian and international companies. My experience allows me to compare and understand the problems of employers.
Situation # 1 - Employee expectations do not coincide with reality
When an employee just comes to the company, he is loyal to her as much as possible. The employee consciously passed the interview and independently made a decision to work in the company, having studied the information about the company and the work processes. Further, the new employee begins to work, is actively involved in work processes, and he develops his own understanding of the company and a sense of himself within its structure.
Usually it takes no more than one month. At this time, the employee compares his expectations, formed during the recruitment process, with actual work experience. If the company meets the employee’s expectations, then he comes to work with pleasure and feels part of the company. Then he is ready to be not just a part of the company's business mechanism, but he is also ready to take on more than he is required by the labor contract. The employee believes that the company will respond to his loyalty, will be grateful, will give a bonus, will increase with time in office.
Generally speaking, an employment contract does not require an employee to be loyal. The contract prescribes to work within the stipulated duties and to receive for it the stipulated salary. Therefore, any loyal employee actions should be rewarded. So employees feel their relationship with the employer.
But, unfortunately, it often happens that expectations do not coincide with reality. For example, in cases where the company initially misled the future employee. At the interview and during the employment they told and promised one thing, but in fact it turned out another. The employee has a feeling that he was deceived, and then he usually makes one of two decisions. Either he leaves immediately. Or, if life circumstances require it, it lingers for a while. However, as soon as it becomes possible to change jobs, he does so — suddenly and irrevocably for the employer. You can not build a healthy relationship with an employee based on deception. Loyalty is built on trust.
What an employer can do:
- Do not mislead candidates and not deceive as to working conditions and career prospects.
- Be interested in employee impressions, especially during the adaptation period.
- Demonstrate caring and trusting employees in small things.
- Encourage initiative and loyalty.
Situation 2 - Poorly built and non-transparent workflows
A company is a society in which an employee spends a significant part of his active time.It is important that the interaction within the team is comfortable.
This does not mean that an employee comes to work to “relax”, but it is not at all interesting for him to strain too much. The employee expects to be shown and explained, given instructions and tools for work, shown to whom to contact for consultation or in case of problems. All this means that the company has established adequate working processes. An employee can work effectively, showing his potential to perform his professional tasks, and not to solve quests - who to turn in in what situation.
A typical problem inherited by us from the “Soviet” management is that professionals who know their profession and who are not competent in management issues are often appointed to senior positions. This leads to opaque workflows, "manual control" and the sticking of absolutely everything on the person of the manager. If a manager is busy, sick or absent, then none of the employees knows what to do. As a rule, such a leader is forced to show authoritarian habits, and many situations are solved by “personal example”.
Another common option is when a manager withdraws from the life of a team and does not participate in resolving disputes and conflicts in a team. His position - "sort it out yourself, the main thing - give me the result." Then usually there is an informal leader who begins to establish work processes according to his "concepts". In difficult situations, employees do not know how to behave - either according to official instructions, or according to the rules of an informal leader. And there are many more such examples, poorly organized workflows.
The main thing is that in such unhealthy teams employees experience daily stresses. Even the most loyal employee begins to hate his job over time and is looking for an opportunity to leave the team. Often this is due to a change of employer. Sudden dismissal may look unexpected for top management, but it is quite natural, given the current situation.
What an employer can do:
- It is worth paying considerable attention to the training of managers.
- Leadership should be held by people with both managerial experience and good communication skills and emotional intelligence.
- Workflows should be clear and documented. Job description is not just a formality, but an effective tool that helps in the work.
- Collect and analyze employee feedback regarding the organization of workflows.
Situation 3 - Rejection of criticism from employees
If an employee criticizes an employer, this means that he is still loyal. He believes that his criticism can change something. When an employee stopped expressing his attitude towards an employer and “closed”, it means that his departure is only a matter of time.
In the process of work, the employee notices not only good, but also bad. Of course, he may be wrong or not fully understand the situation. However, listening to criticism, you relieve tensions. You can also explain the situation, point out the factors that the employee did not take into account. Giving the opportunity to speak and listening to criticism, you definitely increase employee loyalty. Criticism is not always constructive, but after hearing it, you can find opportunities to improve the atmosphere in the team. Unanswered questions and wishes are always bad. If an employee criticizes, then he is sick of a common cause, he is not indifferent to the company and he wants it to become better.
A common mistake of many companies is to consider criticism a “toxic influence”.
Ignoring criticism usually leads to its increase. Criticism will not be toxic if you have organized a channel for receiving complaints and wishes.A disgruntled employee will not reach out to colleagues with his complaints if you have a “complaints and suggestions box”, and if they do, then any of the colleagues will point out a whiner on this channel for sending feedback.
For an authoritarian leader it is often convenient to “survive” a disgruntled employee and get him fired. So an illiterate manager solves his problem, but for the company as a whole, staff turnover is hardly a profitable undertaking.
What an employer can do:
- Create a channel to collect criticism and suggestions - a box of complaints and suggestions.
- Regularly review incoming complaints and suggestions, respond to them publicly, taking into account some (or all) of them.
- Analyze the real causes of layoffs at will.
- Educate managers on how to work with criticism.
In this article, I described only 3 problems that in my opinion are most common.
If you encounter other mistakes of employers, be sure to write about it in the comments.
I would also be interested to know how your company increases employee loyalty.