Employee retention is high on the agenda of all businesses. In fact workplace loyalty is desired from both sides of the fence. Now take a moment and ask someone if they intend to work for the same company for more than a decade. Were you answered with the sounds of mocking laughter or the like? If culturally the mindset is to change jobs every few years or so, how do you develop a devoted workforce?

According to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers, 91 per cent of Millennials (1977-1997) expect to remain in a job for less than three years. Job hopping has become the norm and it is an expensive and worrying trend for businesses. This could reflect poorly on one’s resume, or it may represent a fast advancing career. A determined job seeker will be able to promote themselves as motivated and focused and that is exactly what employers are looking for in a candidate. It may come as no surprise, but employees are now more loyal to their careers than they are to their employer.

Recognising the ambitious nature of both men and woman, employers are offering candidates a career path. It’s a great carrot to dangle. What happens when an employer cannot deliver? The failed promise will likely breed contempt and invoke a resignation. The promising employee, hungry to grow and develop, has now become an asset of your competitor. Watching your investment walk out the door is not ideal so what are you prepared to do about it?

What many businesses fail to realise is that loyal employees are just as valuable to an organisation as a loyal customer. And we’ve all seen the lengths organisations go to in order to breed and retain loyal customers. Our banks reward us with bonus interest, real estate’s impart lavish gifts to new home buyers, and retailers give two for one deals resulting in great dollar savings. As a customer we are appreciated and respected. It is exactly what all employees want to feel when they walk into work each day.

Great business leaders understand that loyalty isn’t something to pay lip service to. Appreciation for ones allegiance needs to be shown. Some employers show their gratitude through monetary rewards, but not all organisations can afford to give financially. Fortunately appreciation can be shown in many ways. It may be as simple as giving praise, recognising effort with an employee of the month award, being flexible when a worker needs time off, or involving employees in key organisational decisions. If employees observe and feel they are valued, they will reciprocate by showing their respect for their employer with dedication and commitment to their role and the organisation over the long-term.

It says a lot about the importance of needing to be happy and fulfilled in our working lives, doesn’t it? Many of us now place great importance on a positive workplace culture and work that is interesting. If you can identify a cultural fit between a candidate and your company culture, it is likely that the candidate will remain with the business for the long term if hired. In fact, research demonstrates exactly this. It also tells us that employees who have been referred to your organisation are significantly more likely to be retained than employees sourced from career sites and job boards. Rethinking your recruiting methods?

Without question a happy employee is a loyal employee. After all, it is our goal to be happy in our daily working lives. So when you next find yourself hiring for a role, remember that you are not simply aiming to fill a job position, but are looking to find someone who will be happy working for you. So look beyond the resume for that may simply tell you that the candidate is yet to find their niche.


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