What is employee loyalty?

Employee loyalty is when your people choose to continue working with you for a long time because they love doing so. They’re happy with the working environment, are motivated, work hard to achieve company goals, and believe in the business’s mission. Loyal employees  are less likely to jump ship if they spot opportunities elsewhere.

If you improve employee loyalty, you won’t just boost your employee retention rates—you’ll notice a positive effect on your business as a whole.

Why is employee loyalty important to companies?

Employee loyalty is very important to companies because it has a huge bearing on effective human capital management, as well as on their overall success. It can provide a number of benefits, including:

How do you measure employee loyalty?

You can measure employee loyalty by:

  • Running surveys. Regularly running employee engagement surveys and employee satisfaction surveys helps you understand how motivated your people are to do their work, and how they feel about working for you.
  • Calculating your employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). This is a way of assessing employee loyalty and identifying ways in which you can improve it.
  • Having one-on-one meetings. Encourage an honest working environment where people feel comfortable having one-on-one conversations with their managers, or with other relevant people. This can be in the form of a regular, scheduled meeting or an informal chat. It’s a good way to connect with professionals to gauge how they feel.

What keeps an employee loyal?

Employee satisfaction is linked to loyalty. People feel loyal to companies that look after them and that have a positive work culture.

But what exactly keeps an employee loyal? There are several common features:

  • Competitive pay
  • Opportunities for professional growth, learning, and career advancement
  • An employer that recognizes people’s achievements, and shows appreciation for their hard work
  • A positive, friendly, and social office environment that’s free from bullying
  • The possibility for professionals to have flexible start times, as well as the freedom to choose between hybrid or remote work
  • An employer that trusts their people’s expertise, giving them the responsibility to make decisions associated with their work
  • An employer that treats professionals with respect, caring about them both personally and professionally
  • A good work-life balance
  • An environment where professionals have all the tools they need to carry out their work effectively
  • An employer that encourages honest employee feedback and openness
  • A management team that helps with the day-to-day tasks when it’s busy, so that everyone feels supported and on the same side

How does a loyal employee behave?

Loyal employees genuinely care about the company they work for, so they’ll make sure they give you honest advice and feedback to help you improve.

They’ll be curious, and look for ways to innovate and help the company grow, but they’re also willing to listen and learn.

Loyal employees are passionate about the work they do and will be more productive as a result. They take pride in a job well done, are dedicated, and are willing to work hard when needed—they’ll go the extra mile. A loyal employee is happy and will have a positive influence on their colleagues, and on the company culture, encouraging team spirit. In fact, their enthusiasm will inspire the rest of the team, helping your business to take great strides forward.

With such a powerful influence, loyal employees are crucial to your success.

How can you improve employee loyalty at your company?

Once you’ve measured company loyalty, identify what areas in particular you could improve on.

Did work-life balance repeatedly come up as a suggestion in an employee satisfaction survey? Or more competitive salaries? Once you’re aware of the ways in which you can better support your people, you can create a long-term strategy. Find ways to start putting in place the common features that keep people loyal.

Remember that the foundation of loyalty is a solid, long-term relationship of trust between you and your team. This kind of relationship can take time to develop, so it may take a while before you see an increase in employee loyalty.

After all, you’re changing the culture of the business, which is unlikely to happen overnight.

Any strategy you put in place could include actions that you take every week to improve the culture. A great place to start is with regular employee recognition, showing how much you appreciate your people’s hard work through weekly prizes—or even just a conversation.

By taking regular action each week, you’ll show your people that you’re listening, and that you care. Because, at the end of the day, what really matters is that you and your managers show that you personally care about each and every person at your company. That’s what nurtures a long-term relationship where your people care about you too, and that’s what will build employee loyalty.