Last time, we talked about how an HR-driven company culture can influence the success of your business. Today’s post is about how to start building a loyal employee culture. In today’s workplace, we often see high rates of employee dissatisfaction. The great resignation has drastically shifted the landscape of work. Gone are the days when a paycheck and a possible promotion would keep employees loyal to your company. In the modern era, it takes more than that to stand out.
What is a loyal employee culture?
A loyal employee culture is one in which employees feel appreciated and supported by their employer. Companies with a diverse workplace and a culture that values its employees are more likely to attract, motivate and retain top talent. This can help the company stay competitive—especially when it comes to recruiting new talent.
Additionally, employees who feel appreciated and valued are more likely to be productive and stay with the company for a longer period of time. A loyal employee culture is therefore a win-win situation for both parties.
In order to create a loyal employee culture, you need to understand what it will take to make employees feel valued. The first step in this process is to establish a work environment that fosters commitment and loyalty. Think about your company’s mission, vision, and values, and how your employees can be a part of fulfilling those goals. Keep in mind that building a loyal employee culture does not happen overnight. Rather, it is the result of continuous efforts towards creating a positive work environment for everyone involved.
Below are three great ways to build a committed and faithful workforce that you can count on to plan a future with your company:
1. Mitigate Unhealthy Competition to Set the Stage for a Loyal Employee Culture
There are many pros and cons of encouraging competition in the workplace. Though encouraging employees to compete has some benefits, like increased motivation, this tactic is a double edged sword. According to Harvard Business Review, employee competition can make workers feel anxious, pushing them to seek other opportunities. In almost all workplace settings, it’s inevitable that your employees will face a level of competition for raises and promotions. While this isn’t necessarily negative, competition can quickly spiral into workplace hostility, hurt feelings, and leave your employees wishing they could escape. However, there are many ways to reduce this tension and promote respect and collaboration among coworkers.
Promote Friendship in the Workplace
One of the key ways to achieve this goal is through acknowledging team success, rather than only highlighting individuals. This gives employees the confidence of knowing that cooperation is rewarded by leadership. Another helpful tip is to encourage employees to socialize in their free time. This can be achieved by company happy hours, but you can also get creative in your approach! A company field day, mini-golf excursion, or paint-and-sip session can create lasting bonds between colleagues that are built on fun memories instead of the pressure of work.
Be Inclusive of Remote Employees (If you have any)
For remote employees, consider holding remote socials or happy hours. This can help those who work from home feel connected to the workplace culture. It also lets your employees get to know each other and build trust. There are many exciting ways to get remote employees engaged besides a video meeting. Consider doing a challenge such as a scavenger hunt or a virtual escape room. Thinking outside the box has many rewards, and the experience of a fun group activity can help bring remote workers into the fold of your company culture. When coworkers can share laughter, new experiences, and a low-stakes victory, they’ll feel excited to work as a team.
2. Create a Loyal Employee Culture with Workspace Creature Comforts
Many of us have negative preconceptions about what an office looks like: rows of cubicles, lots of gray and beige, and fluorescent lighting. Taking the time to build a comfortable, inspiring workplace will make your office stand out from the rest, and help to associate positive emotions with being at work. Here are some ways to improve the office environment and make employees feel at home in their workspace.
Craft an Inviting Break Room
Adding a comfortable break room to your office space with inviting couches and natural light can do wonders for your employee’s sense of satisfaction at work. Creating a hangout space encourages employees to spend time with each other, share a meal, and connect on a personal level. It also increases your employee’s sense of comfort and belonging. Consider adding homey touches to the walls, like motivational quotes or inspiring art.
Use Color to Your Advantage
Another great upgrade to make is using the psychology of colors to impact your employees’ moods. Studies have shown that the color yellow is a happy, mood-boosting choice, while blue is associated with calmness and loyalty. Avoid red, which is associated with hostility, competition, and anger. Gray is another color to steer clear from, since it feels drab and institutional. Setting the tone with the perfect color selection can make employees happier at work without them even realizing it.
Upgrade Your Office or Break Room Chairs
Additionally, choosing ergonomic chairs can be a great change. An employee’s desk chair is the captain’s seat from which they pilot their workday. Upgrading such an essential office feature not only supports spine health, but gives an employee a comfortable and inviting place to work. When one feels comfortable in their workspace, they are likely to associate positively with their environment.
3. Care for Your Employees’ Success Outside of Work
We often think of workforce loyalty being built within office hours. However, providing benefits that care for the wellbeing of employees in their daily lives will help you bond your employees to the company’s success.
Mental Health Counseling
One of the great perks you can provide for your employees is counseling. There are many types of counseling categories that you can offer. Online mental health counseling is a resource that both in-office and remote workers can enjoy. There are countless benefits to mental health counseling, and it allows employees a neutral and constructive place to deal with stress, both in the workplace and in life.
Life-coaching services can often deal with aspects of mental health, but are more focused on helping your employees get on track and focus their career goals and reach personal achievements. A life coach can be an invaluable resource for an employee seeking to better their lives.
Financial counseling can shed light on aspects of managing money that many find confusing and stressful, such as how much to save for retirement, what is a good credit score to buy a house, how to invest money in the stock market, and so much more. It’s a great resource for employees who relocate to work for your company, as they may need help securing a residence in your area. Additionally, it is a great benefit for recent graduates and entry-level employees. These workers may never have had to consider investing, saving, or planning for retirement.
Encourage Your Employees to Use their Vacation Time
Another important thing to consider is your employee’s vacation time. Studies show that there are many upsides to using PTO, such as:
- Decreased stress
- Reduced unplanned absences
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Motivation when returning to work
When employees are applauded for taking necessary time for themselves to replenish, they are able to return to work refreshed and focused. Consider offering a bonus for employees to allocate towards vacation expenses. According to Monster, companies with high employee satisfaction rates offer their employees vacation stipends and reimbursements. Not only will this resource make employees feel respected, but it will help them to discover new adventures and have exciting experiences to share with their coworkers.
Reduce Turnover with a Loyal Employee Culture
Creating a loyal workforce comes down to one thing: employee happiness. When you take steps to foster cooperation, comfort, mental health, and rest, it sets your company apart. Someone who has these benefits is much less likely to seek another workplace. Happy, engaged employees who feel cherished and respected will stick with your company as long as they can.