In every successful business, the human resources are the most valuable assets the organization has. Without good people coming up with creative ideas and putting them into action, all the technology and branding would mean nothing.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone who pulls down a paycheck is worth what you’re spending on them. And it also doesn’t mean the fact that you have a good employee now means you’re set for the future.
What you need to do as a business owner is find and retain loyal, high quality staff.
And doing so comes down to understanding employee rights.
Loyal Employee Right #1: Hire the right ones to begin with.
Granted, you’re not going to hit a home run every time you get up to bat. But if you can set up your hiring process to focus on weeding out the prospects who won’t fit in long term and locating those that have the best chance of really “getting” your company’s culture and work ethic, you’re already miles ahead of the competition.
You see, when you’re hiring a new employee, you can’t just be seeking out a warm body to fill a seat. That may be tempting, especially if you’re filling in an unexpected vacancy or facing unanticipated growth, but it’s a flawed paradigm. No matter how important it is for you to fill that seat, if you end up filling it with a poor worker or one who job hops on a biweekly basis, you’re simply setting yourself up for further headaches down the road, and you’re paying for the privilege.
Instead, go into the hiring process with a well-defined sense of the type of person you’re looking for: skill set, personality, history, etc., and a well thought-out set of interview questions to gauge how well they’re going to fit in and actually enjoy working for you.
Hiring the right person to begin with triples your chances of retaining loyal staff down the road.
Loyal Employee Right #2: Treat them right.
This should go without saying, but in the heat of deadlines and angry clients, it gets forgotten all too quickly.
Let’s set the record straight. Your employees are not your slaves. They haven’t suddenly become downgraded to second-class citizens simply because you’re the boss. Without even realizing it’s happening, though, a high-pressure situation can make a business leader take on that attitude, to the detriment of employee relations.
To retain loyal staff, employers need to actively work against the tendency to mistreat or take employees for granted based on what’s happening in the business each day. The most successful employers work hard to maintain a fun, relaxed, positive atmosphere in the work place regardless of circumstances, and they continually plan special events, awards, celebrations and social activities to help employees remain positive and bond as a cohesive team.
Employees who are treated right have every reason to remain loyal.
Loyal Employee Right #3: Pay them right.
It may be surprising to see pay at the bottom of the list, but surprisingly enough, that’s where most employees place the importance of dollars and cents in relation to other factors when it comes to whether they enjoy their job, feel appreciated at work, and intend to stay.
In fact, the first two “rights” mentioned above far outweigh salary in the vast majority of employees’ minds. Many are even willing to take a reasonable pay cut if it means being able to enjoy more of the positive features described above.
That being said, however, salary and benefits are still an important practical consideration. Even the happiest of quality staff can be lured away by a dramatically higher salary offer. So, it’s vital to pay employees what they’re worth and to never hold raises or other perks out like a carrot on a stick.
The bottom line: Loyalty is a two-way street. Loyal employers – ones who understand and appreciate employees’ “rights” – naturally attract and retain loyal staff.
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