If you want to keep your best employees, you'd best keep 'em happy! Employees who are emotionally attached to their companies are more productive, committed, and positive. There are many ways to keep your employees happy, and at the top of the list is showing that you appreciate them. Of course, employees who feel they have some degree of influence at work, who understand the company's vision, and feel a deep sense of personal satisfaction from their job will exhibit loyalty, proactive engagement, and professionalism. And your customers will notice. Here are six ways to make your employees loyal for life.
- Say thank you: Better yet, write it. A hand-written, personal note expressing your gratitude for their hard work and creative problem solving will make any employee feel valued and important. It is one of the very first lessons we learn as children. Always say "thank you."
- Announce their achievements: Whether it be in a company-wide email or the monthly newsletter, when your employee goes above and beyond (closing that big deal, completing the next level of training, coming up with a unique way to streamline internal operations), make sure to publicly acknowledge his or her success. Such recognition is a real motivator.
- Provide a forum for their ideas: Make sure that your employees are being heard. Nobody likes to feel like their thoughts and opinions don't matter. You can promote team-building where your employees can use each other as sounding boards and brainstorming partners or conduct weekly or monthly meetings during which employees can present their ideas to management. Just let them know that their contribution to the company matters.
- Go to Lunch: Take your star employees to lunch. Especially if they are stuck in an office and usually bring their lunch to work. Schedule a lunch with a few top employees to gain insight into their personalities and their priorities. It is amazing what one can learn over a simple lunch, backgrounds, motivations, aspirations, problems in the workplace the important and off the record things that might that might not be shared in a workplace setting often come up.
- Give an employee recognition gift: Personalizing an employee recognition gift is the perfect way to honor an employee's service or achievements. You could engrave gifts such as crystal clocks, paperweights, or awards with the company logo, employee name, date, and occasion to make your employee feel like a superstar! Our company has on-going awards such as a quarter award that recognizes top office workers. The criteria to win the award is based on quality of work and innovation. Each quarter a worker receives the Green Leaf award. We also recognize the efforts of our Sales force where the top 3 sales people are recognized with a an award. Although employees may not strive to receive the actual award, there is no doubt that they have a sense of pride when an award decorates their desk.
- One thing not to to do: We had a manager who took the whole office team to lunch once a month. This sounds great, but he would reward top performers by ordering them steak and “the rest” were only allowed to order sandwiches. The lunches became a horrible chore and everyone regardless whether they were a top performer or not tried to get out of going to the lunch. The only good it did was to unify the employees against the manager, which was not the effect one needs in the workplace.