Employee loyalty in times of change

4 effective tips for retaining employees in your company or team for the long term

Especially in these times of a shortage of skilled workers, employee loyalty is playing an increasingly important role. Only when employees feel valued, treated fairly and part of a team they will remain loyal to the company. But how can employee retention be achieved in times of change?

Christina Schendl

"Enthusiastic and committed employees today are a good basis for today's not-yet-employees to become employees tomorrow who would have preferred to have already been there yesterday"

Carsten Bach

1. employee retention through appreciation

In Austria, dissatisfaction with the manager is the most common reason for quitting (Statistik Austria, 2018).

Because appreciation is quickly forgotten in the stressful workday. Those who always deliver good performance should also be recognized for it. Otherwise, this can quickly end in frustration. This mostly involves intangible appreciation such as praise for good performance, but an appropriate salary and benefits are also part of employee appreciation. A ratio of praise to criticism of 1:5 or even 1:7 is often recommended. However, you should not overdo it. As a manager, think about which instruments of recognition suit you and your company and use them skillfully and regularly.

2. feedback and transparency

If there is an open culture of discussion in the company, many problems do not arise in the first place. This is particularly important in times of change in organizations. In this way, doubts that employees have about change can be addressed and either kept in view or immediately cleared out of the way immediately.  

Feedback also helps employees to develop and grow. An employee-supervisor relationship is also based on open and appreciative communication. The company should actively work towards this. Trust does not develop overnight, but must be strengthened again and again. If the manager only addresses the employees when there are problems and does not even greet them otherwise, it will be difficult to build up an open feedback culture.

3. job satisfaction through a sense of purpose

No one can be forced to enjoy his/her work. But only employees who are satisfied with their tasks and working environment will do their job well and with pleasure. They will also remain loyal to you in the face of change. Therefore, it is important to find out the motivation of the employees already in the recruiting process, in order to be able to coordinate whether the ideas of the management and the personal ideas fit together. Later on, there should be an open dialog about the field of activity. Finally, the degree of autonomy should also be adapted to the respective employee. While some personalities want to be guided more strongly, others strive for as much independence as possible. Above all everybody wants to be employed for "meaningful" activities. The assessment of meaningfulness is subjective and requires above all the knowledge of the common goal. 

4. teamwork and a cooperative environment 

Those who feel comfortable in their team will also perform at their best. Already during recruiting, care should be taken to ensure that the personality fits into the team. Teambuilding measures and joint activities can also help teams to grow together. Employees who feel comfortable will also trust you when changes occur and will tackle the changes with you.

Basically, employee retention is important in times of change as well as in quieter times. Only when employees feel good at work, they enjoy their work and do it well. The framework conditions for the labor market are changing very quickly and only those who stay creatively will be able to attract and successfully retain good employees.

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