Woes of job-hopping, rising turnover and lack of employee loyalty are rampant around every corner. Nobody likes losing employees (to competitors or otherwise) and wrestling attrition is high on the corporate agenda. Yet, even as organisations fight tooth and nail to retain employees, they are totally oblivious of staff allegiance and happiness. Everyone from managers, retention agents to HR need to get a handle on employee loyalty and satisfaction – how committed is the workforce to the organisation and if workers are really contented with the way of things for gauging their likelihood to stay with the company.
Of the two, employee engagement is a tad easier to measure.
• The litmus test is to study turnover and average length of service. If turnover is on the rise, loyalty levels are low and vice versa. Comparing them to industry averages gives a good idea of attrition probabilities.
• Staff attendance, compliance with policies and confidence in leadership are other indirect indicators of allegiance while excessive theft and sabotage spell obvious lack of commitment.
• A top consultant says, “Look for pockets of higher turnover and disloyalty – by organisational unit, job type and level, length of service and demographics like gender, race/ethnicity or age.”
When it comes to job satisfaction, measuring attitude and not behaviour is another ballgame altogether.
Keen observation of employee reactions and conduct is by far the most obvious and easiest technique. Casually walk around the office, watching employees working, interacting with each other and talk to them informally. Are they smiling, energised, cooperative and alert or listless, inactive and unhelpful? You can even employ a professional consultant as an objective third-party to assess the work atmosphere and compare with other companies.
Take simple observation to the next level by asking employees outright in attitude surveys, focus groups and exit interviews. Analyse the results to determine staff attitude, opinions and motivation. Employee satisfaction is the chief driver of productivity, profits, customer satisfaction and retention and vice versa.
Do something about it
While satisfied employees are not necessarily loyal or loyal ones always satisfied, it cannot be denied that job satisfaction fuels loyalty. After all its been rightly said that, the more satisfied an employee is regarding his or her working conditions, the more likely is he or she to develop a psychological attachment or commitment to the organisation.
Companies should try their best to evaluate why employees leave or what kindles their dissatisfaction. Examine the root causes – where does the problem lie? Is it earnings or benefits? Does it have something to do with job quality or workplace support? Or is lack of appreciation or growth to blame. The onus is on the management to keep employees engaged and happy, so as to persuade them to stay. In fact, this is critical to organisational success. So, develop strategies that strengthen the work environment and make deliberate improvements to mould the company as an employer of choice.
Treat employees as an important part of the organisation and encourage their participation in various planning and decision-making aspects so that they can actively contribute to the organisational success.
Offer meaningful work and challenging assignments that will effectively utilise staff skills. Also, empower employees and ensure them of job security. Provide legitimate feedback, genuinely listen to staff concerns and make their interests a management priority. Gaining employee loyalty and satisfaction is not easy; you have to first struggle to earn it and then strive to preserve it.
The Author is Mr. BANDI SAMSON HEROLD, MBA,M.Phil,DEM,(PhD), currently working as Associate Professor for the School of Management Studies in SWARNANDHRA (SCET)at NARSAPUR, West Godavari, (A.P), India. He holds 06 years of domestic and 07 years of international experience in teaching profession. Published 17 online articles at articlesbase.com.