Of course you know the importance of keeping your best employees from becoming someone else’s top talent, but exactly how do you do that?
Here are four ways to build trust and earn their loyalty.
1. Face time matters
Personal contact is important as it creates an emotional connection with the organization. Whether you have an onsite or a remote workforce, make sure you regularly connect with them. It’s more than offering an “open door policy” – get out of your office and walk around. Pick up the phone and talk to your team. Connect with your team members in the way they want to be contacted. Some people prefer text, others email, while others still like to talk face-to-face. Personal contact matters. Take a hint from the television show “Undercover Boss” and put yourself in your employees’ shoes. Understand what they deal with on a daily basis and they will be much more willing to give their job their personal best.
2. Express appreciation
Catch your employees doing things right. What gets recognized gets repeated, so let them know specifically what they are doing well. It seems that organizations are spending a ton of money on “stuff” – providing employees with copious catalogs from which they can choose any number of rewards. Although a nice gesture, it’s not the prize that creates an emotional connection. It’s the sincere verbal expression or handwritten note in appreciation for a job well done that is treasured. A woman in one of my programs recently shared that thank you notes she wrote to her staff members two years ago are still pinned on their bulletin boards. Writing it down makes a difference. Handwritten notes are tangible evidence that employees can refer back to whenever they need a lift.
3. Ask questions
Are you afraid to ask your employees what they want because you fear their “unreasonable demands?” Oftentimes what you’ll find is that it doesn’t take a lot to keep your team happy. Once their basic needs are met, little tweaks make a big difference. Check out this article for some great ideas. Asking for your staff’s suggestions and ideas can give you a perspective that you may not have considered. Inviting your staff members to share their opinion means a lot, acting on their suggestions seals the deal.
4. Welcome complaints
Marshall Fields said, “Those who buy, support me. Those who come to flatter, please me. Those who complain teach me how I may please others so they will buy. The only ones that hurt me are those who are displeased but do not complain. They refuse me permission to correct my errors and thus improve my service.” This quote is just as applicable to employees as it is to customers. The office grapevine is not going away, however you can circumvent its negative consequences by making it safe for employees to express their opinions. When you know what is really going on within your organization, you can take the steps necessary to correct what needs to be fixed and not suffer long-term negative effects. Remember – if you’re asking the question, be willing to be open to the answer, no matter what it is.
Using these four simple strategies not only increase employee engagement, loyalty, and retention, they lead to the big 3 “P’s” – productivity, passion, and profits. The best part? These ideas are not going to cost you an arm and a leg to implement.
(About the Author: Employee Engagement Expert and Motivational Speaker, Lisa Ryan works with organizations to help them keep their top talent and best customers from becoming someone else’s. She achieves this through personalized employee engagement and customer retention keynotes, workshops and seminars. She is the author of six books, and is featured in two films including the award-winning, “The Keeper of the Keys” with Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul. For more information, please connect with Lisa at her website: www.grategy.com or email her at email@example.com.)
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