How to Create Employee Loyalty – Part 1 of 3
In today’s extremely competitive employment market conditions, your biggest challenge as a business owner or executive is to ensure that the good people you have employed for long (after training them and investing in them) stay with you and continue to contribute to your company expansion. There is indeed no more frustrating feeling that seeing one of your top employees leave the company… to join a competitor.
One good way to understand how you can naturally develop employee loyalty is to find out what actually causes them to leave in the first place. Why did they decide to go look after another job?
In this 4-part article you will find answers to this exact, lethal question: Why do good employees leave?
(1) FALSE EXPECTATIONS
A new employee comes to your office or calls you after 2 or 3 weeks on the job and announces his/her departure. When asked for the reason, the reply is almost the same each time: “It is just not what I was expecting, really.”
While it is tempting to blame the departing employee for his/her decision, we always suggest that employers losing newly-hired staff re-examine their hiring process, particularly if this kind of turnover is a recurring problem. Applicants begin developing expectations about a position and a company at the first contact and definitely when they read the job description. If a job ends up being very different than what an employee anticipated, it’s more than often because he/she received incorrect or incomplete information during the application process.
This is why you should always apply the rule of transparency: tell the truth when developing your job description and when talking to applicants. It is proven that employees who do not fully understand the scope of their work tend to leave their job soon after starting. Remember: while challenges will at- tract top players, they also will scare poor players away. This is what you want.
But do not attempt to sell a false, prettier picture of a position or the company in order to attract qualified, top players. They will punish you severely by leaving the company as soon as they find out. Honesty is a major selection criterion used by many applicants to judge you and your company. Top players do not tolerate lack of transparency.
In his excellent book, “The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave,” Leigh Branham attributes the first reason for employee departures to unmet expectations. According to his research:*
- 4% of employees walk out of the job on the first day,
- 50% of American workers quit in the first 6 months,
- 40% of new executives fail to last more than 18 months in their new position.
Here are a few suggestions to help you minimize improper expectations and unwelcome surprises with freshly chosen top players:
- Ensure that your job description is complete and clear enough, without vague promise of a bright advancement – no matter what you offer on the current position.
- Insist on clarity about the job’s existing situation. If the position was vacant for a long time, explain why. If the previous employee was fired, provide enough information so that the new player does not develop incorrect assumptions. Don’t be overly negative about it but try to be realistic.
- Challenge them while presenting your personal (but realistic) picture of a bright future. Make sure that applicants understand what it will take to create that bright future.
- Honestly inform them about the “not-so-rosy” side of the job, during the interview. Provide a full reality of what the employee will face on a daily basis, once on the job.
- Ensure that the matching of a new employee with his/her manager will fit. If a new employee’s direct supervisor is a tough person by nature, make sure that the employee will be able to live with it. Never hire someone without ensuring that he/she will accept the authority of a manager. On the other hand, if that manager is too tough for many, expect to lose a lot of top players during your hiring process. See why later in this chapter.
- Your company culture and management philosophy are vital selection criteria for top players. Do not play or present a flexible-type of culture during the hiring process and shift to a more rigid one after the hiring is complete. It won’t take long before the new hire finds out you were “acting”!
- Prior to formally integrating a new employee into your team, have the person review the job description and the company’s general employee policies. Such policies should illustrate your attention on developing and maintaining good, productive and inspiring employee relations. Ensure that the new employee understands the terms of employment and what attitude is expected in the company, as far as teamwork is concerned.
To your success,
Best Selling Author “No-FailHiring 2.0”
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