Loyalty is a crucial ingredient when it comes to growing a business, whether it is new or established, big or small, and it’s not just customer loyalty either; staff loyalty is vitally important. Without a loyal team, you are always recruiting, training new starters, and making changes to your schedules to accommodate them. This takes time and costs money. It also means that your team never gets the chance to grow together, to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and to become a true team, who work together happily and productively.
A loyal team saves you money, and time, and gives you the chance to develop the best crew. This makes it much easier for your business to grow and develop, improving over time. Your reputation will grow, you’ll become a trusted leader, and a trusted brand, attracting the very best employees and becoming a business that strives for success.
Many employers make the mistake of believing that if they train their staff too well, offer too many learning opportunities, and invest too much in them, they will leave. They worry that these team members will outgrow their companies and look elsewhere for more money, greater responsibilities, and fresh opportunities.
Usually, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, your staff may one day want to move on, but this would be more likely if you failed to invest in their development. At least by offering further learning opportunities, you know that you will get the best of them while they are part of your team. Furthered learning generally builds loyalty, trust, and respect.
Encouraging Education Shows Continued Commitment to Your Team
Show your people that you value them, and they’ll be far more likely to stick around. Offering opportunities for further education is a fantastic way to make them feel valued. It shows that you are looking to expand and improve your business and that there will be opportunities for them to grow with you. But it also indicates that you are putting them first – that instead of looking for more knowledgeable and experienced employees, you are committing the future of your business to the people that are already a part of it. Education shows that you want to take them with you as you improve, instead of leaving them behind.
Investing your time and money on their continued training shows that you are committed to their futures, despite the risk that they might not spend them with you.
Make Your Team Part of Your Success
You want your business to be filled with highly trained, skilled, and passionate staff. These are the people that will ensure your success, will provide excellent customer service, and bring their own ideas and creativity to the table.
You could, of course, hire them. As your business grows, your recruitment opportunities expand, and it becomes easier to hire quality people. But these new team members will always know that they have been brought in because they are better than existing staff. They may wonder if their time will also come.
A better option when it comes to creating loyalty and positive workplace culture is promoting from within. Invest in your existing staff, with training and other learning, and then when a position opens up, promote a current team member. Take them along on your journey to success, making them a valued part of it.
Training Increases Happiness
We’re all guilty of, at some point, getting bored at work. We get stuck in a rut, going through the motions, completing the same tasks with our eyes closed. We get to the point where we can do our jobs with no thought or care, and we start to take things for granted. We lose interest, our passion fades, and so, we begin to wonder if we are happy, and if we’d be better off somewhere else.
Offer chances for them to learn and to grow, and they will stay interested. They’ll think about things in new ways, they’ll enjoy taking chances and trying new things, and they’ll be happier in their work. Team members that are happy, and enjoy themselves at work, are far more likely to stick around.
Productivity is excellent for your business. A productive team works quickly and efficiently, getting more done in less time. This means that you make more money while still offering quality products or services.
Well trained and highly educated employees can work far more productively than those that haven’t received any training since the first few weeks of their employment.
But, high levels of productivity aren’t just good for business; they are also good for morale, mood, and loyalty. People like being productive, they enjoy success, and they like to go home feeling as though their time has been well spent. As appealing as it sounds, very few people are actually happy being paid to stand around bored all day.
Attract the Best People
Promoting from within is fantastic, but, as much as you invest in your staff, and as hard as you try to make things work, the people don’t always fit the positions, and as your business grows, you will inevitably need to hire more heads.
When this happens, you want to attract the best people, and offering chances for further learning is a great way to do it. Filling your team with only the best is a fantastic way to increase loyalty. More inexperienced employees will learn from the newer staff, and they’ll all grow together.
Options for Continued Learning
So, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons to prioritize education in your workplace. Fortunately, there are more ways to learn than there have ever been before. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Commitment to Training
So many employers make the mistake of forgetting training not long after recruitment. This can be a big mistake. Things change, the world is evolving faster than ever, new developments are being made in most sectors, and keeping up to date is crucial if you want to succeed.
Offer continued training, refreshing the knowledge of even long-term team members, and even yourself.
While there’s plenty of training that can be done in-house, sometimes, sending people out on a training course is more effective. They’ll get the chance to learn from educators, but also from their peers while gaining not just new knowledge, but new skills which could be invaluable. Short courses, but also an MBA from a school like Suffolk Online, could be excellent opportunities for your employees.
If you’ve always done the bulk of staff training yourself, it might be a good idea to welcome other voices into your workplace. Industry experts, people with specific skills, or representatives from suppliers or manufacturers of machinery that you use all have a lot of knowledge to share with your team. Arrange conferences filled with guest speakers or invite people in for one-off training sessions.
Believe it or not, the people in your workplace have a lot to teach each other. Encourage open discussion in the workplace. Let employees challenge your ideas and debate with each other. Welcome different opinions, and don’t be scared of honest, open conversation.
Other Valuable Ways to Boost Loyalty
While education is a valuable way to boost loyalty, it’s certainly not the only way to do it. If you want your best team members to stick around, and grow with your business, here’s a look at some of the other things that you should try.
Perhaps the easiest, and often most effective way to boost loyalty in your team is with gratitude. Say thank you at the end of a shift, offer bonuses when you can, and simply show your appreciation by keeping the break room well-stocked.
Benefits and Perks
If your business is small, you may not be able to afford to offer the same large benefits, discounts, and other perks that bigger companies do. But that doesn’t mean that you haven’t got anything to offer. Consider simple benefits like flexible working and any small perks that you are able to provide.
Fairness and Equality
Being a fair employer who offers equal treatment and flexibility for all is crucial when it comes to keeping your team happy. Have transparent policies and be clear with any promotions or changes that you make.
If there are any disputes within your workforce, deal with them quickly and fairly and don’t be scared to make bold decisions, as long as they are fair. By all means, have rules, and expect them to be followed, but be fair and flexible where you can.
An Open-Door Policy
Your open-door policy can be literal or figurative. You could have an open workspace, where everyone is free to visit you when they need to. Or, you could have an office with a closed door, as long as people know that they can always open it and that you will always listen to them and be there to offer help.
As you can see, there are many different ways to improve staff loyalty in your business. You may find that different things work better for you and your team, but don’t underestimate the importance of education.