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How To Encourage Employee Loyalty

Low-cost ways to build employee commitment.

December 28, 1999
Related Topics: Retention
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Study after study has shown that praise and recognition tends to build employees’ loyalty. People want to feel what they do makes a difference. Money does not do this; personal recognition does. Employers often fail to realize that some of the most effective things they can do to develop and sustain motivated, committed employees cost very little or nothing at all.

Consider the power of "the five I’s":

  • Interesting Work—No one wants to do the same boring job over and over, day after day. And while there will always be boring, repetitive tasks to accomplish in any job, everyone should have at least a part of their job be of high interest to them.
  • Information—Information is power, and employees want to be empowered with the information they need to know to do their jobs better and more effectively. And, more than ever, employees want to know how they are doing in their jobs and how the company is doing in its business. Open the channels of communication in an organization to allow employees to be informed, ask questions, and share information.
  • Involvement—Managers today are faced with an incredible number of opportunities and problems and, as the speed of business continues to increase dramatically, the amount of time that they have to make decisions continues to decrease. Involving employees in decision making, especially when the decisions affect them directly, is both respectful and practical. Those closest to the problem typically have the best insight as to what to do. As you involve others, you increase their commitment and ease in implementing new ideas or change.
  • Independence—Few employees want their every action to be closely watched and monitored, or for their every Most employees appreciate having the flexibility to do their jobs as they see fit. Giving people latitude increases the chance that they will perform as you desire--and bring additional initiative, ideas, and energy to their jobs.
  • Increased Visibility—Everyone appreciates getting credit when it is due. Occasions to share the successes of employees with others are almost limitless. Giving employees new opportunities to perform, learn, and grow as a form of recognition and thanks is highly motivating for most people.

SOURCE: Bob Nelson of Nelson Motivation, Inc., San Diego, California. Nelson is the author of the books 1001 Ways to Energize Employees and 1001 Ways to Reward Employees.

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