A small dog waiting outsid ethe door for his master
A small dog waiting outsid ethe door for his master

Loyalty, a Rare Employee Trait You Need to Nurture

Paul Kiernan

In the midst of all this madness sits one group of employees that are often considered arcane, lost in the past, or even ridiculous: those employees, the loyal employee.

We keep pointing this out; the pandemic has drastically changed how we conduct business. With work-from-home opportunities and employee demand for better work-life balance, add to that the great resignation, quiet quitting, and actively disengaged employees, owning a business or running a brand feels more challenging than it should be these days.

Employees are leaving their jobs in record numbers, and the ones that will return to their jobs are demanding more and more. Management is in need, so they are more likely to hire someone less qualified and hope they can train them or give in to demands that may not be so great for the company.

In the midst of all this madness sits one group of employees that are often considered arcane, lost in the past, or even ridiculous: those employees, the loyal employee.

Though loyalty is rarely discussed in business now, sometimes seen as a weakness or lack of drive, it’s easy to recognize and vital to nurture loyalty in any business and life.

Let’s look at loyalty, what it is, why it’s essential to your business, and some ways to increase loyalty.

What is Employee Loyalty

It’s pretty straightforward and yet seems like a rare gem these days.

Employee loyalty is when an employee remains with a company for an extended period. They are focused on their job, not always looking for the next vine to jump to, and they make their job a priority in the office and their lives.

A current mindset says no, the job should not be a life priority, which makes a loyal employee rare and vital.

Some believe that the idea of one job for life, being hired, learning and executing a job well, and moving up in the ranks of the company is thinking that belongs in the museum of natural history. However, if you’re a company manager, you know that having loyal employees makes life and work much more manageable.

Why is Employee Loyalty Important

A hand holding a phone, the screen reads, It's 9AM and You're Happy

Loyal employees make a company's daily operations more straightforward and productive. Loyal employees are also great for attracting new employees and reducing the cost of turnover.

Here are a few other things that loyal employees bring to the table.

Improve productivity. Loyal employees are likelier to seek improvement and success in the business. They go the extra mile, work outside the bounds of their job, and do this because they believe in the company. They usually operate with a very positive attitude, and that attitude can quickly transfer to other employees.

Improve your business’s Image. Especially with social media being so ubiquitous, a loyal employee can improve your company’s image with positive, energetic social media posts. The more you improve your employee satisfaction, the more loyal employees you’ll encourage, which turns into a better public image for your business or brand.

Increase production. Loyal employees are motivated employees. They will usually meet and exceed production goals, even during extreme production needs or high-stress situations. Also, a loyal employee is more likely to find ways to help co-workers reach higher goals and improve their production goals.

Improve hiring possibilities. Loyal employees are usually delighted with their work and the environment. If they are loyal because they feel valued, they are more likely to share those feelings with others and encourage them to come to work for you.

There are more reasons why loyal employees are great for your business. For example, it costs 20% of an average employee’s salary to replace that employee. That doesn’t even take in the time and money you’ll need to spend to get that new employee up to speed, allow them time to get used to the office and the job, and then hit a production level of the employee that just left.

You’re saving money with loyal employees, but it goes beyond money. It’s brand recognition, word of mouth in the industry, a show of trust, and so much more. Cultivating loyal employees is definitely worth the work.

Qualities to recognize and foster

An owl on a branch with its head cocked to one side

The qualities that make a loyal employee differ across all businesses and markets. However, some qualities are consistent, and if you recognize them, you can nurture and spread the idea of loyalty. Here is a short list of some qualities most loyal employees share.

  • Perseverance
  • Dedication
  • Leadership
  • Pride
  • Respect
  • Inquisitive
  • Ready to Learn
  • Curious

An employee may not exhibit all of these traits, but it’s vital for any manager to pay attention, really listen, and keep their eyes open for these qualities—especially the final three; inquisitive, ready to learn, and curious.

These three qualities indicate that an employee is looking to learn more and contribute more to the company's success. If they are vocal about this, that’s good. Some employees gather as much as possible about the job only to use that information to jump to new jobs for more money. A loyal employee isn’t averse to getting a raise; instead, they believe they will get what they deserve, so they want to be better and more valuable to the company.

When you cultivate these qualities, you make your employees feel valued and seen and improve your workplace, foster growth and make your business more attractive to potential employees.

Take time to talk with your employees and listen for signs that they want to contribute, know and

produce more.

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Richard Branson

Your Employees are Your Most Important Asset

Especially in this culture of canceling what makes people feel awkward, having loyal employees is essential. In this social media over fact, driven world, even one negative post on social media about employees being treated poorly or taken advantage of can lead to a disinformation campaign, destroy your image in the market, cost you brand loyalty, and make it nearly impossible to fill needed vacancies.

According to a Gallup poll, 70% of an employees’ motivation is influenced by their manager. This means you need your managers to be sharp and pay attention to employee behavior and seek those who are self-motivated and reward them.

Employees who wait for motivation from above are either disengaged or about to be actively disengaged. This can cost a business time, productivity, customer loyalty, and poor customer

service. Ultimately, these poor qualities could cost you millions of dollars in poor productivity.

Connect and listen to your employees, and this may turn some disengaged workers into engaged or even loyal ones. Here are a few tips that can change your employee’s mindsets,

  • Listen
  • Offer strong, stable leadership
  • Offer training
  • Show trust in your employees
  • Be fair
  • Reward employees when they deserve it
  • Remove unnecessary obstacles to their productivity.
  • Provide frequent and honest feedback
  • Care. Really care about your employees.

Your employees matter more than you see. If your employees are happy and loyal, there are few things you cannot weather.

Despite the landscape of the post-pandemic workplace, having loyal employees see further, are eager to contribute, and work with passion and love, is like money in the bank. Even in this time when employees are demanding more and wanting to work less, there are still loyal employees to be found. They aren’t rubes, suckers, or company drones. They are good workers with values and drive. Could you really ask for more?