Employees are the lifeblood of a company. As a company owner, have you ever thought about how your employees feel about working for you? Do they actually enjoy their jobs, or do they see them as just a way to pay the bills? Your ability to motivate and engage your employees can have a big impact on their productivity, performance, and loyalty. Unfortunately, employees are often undervalued and underappreciated. For the most part, employers do just enough to get their employees to keep showing up for work. That’s probably why the average company loses between 20% and 50% of its employees every year. It’s puzzling how companies put so much effort into recruiting talent and then let it go to waste by taking their new employees for granted. According to Columbia University, losing a single employee costs the company 150% of that employee’s annual salary. That alone should be a compelling reason for companies to invest in employee retention measures. The key to success is to build a company with a team of motivated employees. Positivity, profit, growth, and excellent customer service will be natural outcomes. Here are a few things you can do to inspire employee loyalty, build trust within your team, and improve company culture. Learn About the Emotions That Drive Loyalty The extent to which an employee remains loyal to their company is determined by a complex interplay of emotions. This means that if you want to promote loyalty among your employees, you first need to take the time to understand the positive and negative emotions they have in regard to your company. For instance, one of the most common reasons employees leave a company is feeling underappreciated. Other reasons are not feeling like their work has much of an impact on the company, stress, feeling exploited, and lack of job satisfaction. Do you think these feelings are common among your employees? You’re not sure? Then investigate and find out. If the answer is yes, dig deeper and find out what’s causing these feelings so you can start thinking of strategies to address any identified issues. Elevate Company Culture Company culture is essentially made up of how management interacts with the employees and how the employees interact with each other. Work expertise does play a role, but it’s mostly about personalities, attitudes, and how well everyone gets along. As a manager, it’s your job to stay on top of the company’s culture and deal with any interpersonal issues that develop without interfering in people’s personal lives. The first step is to set a positive example for others. Get rid of the snobbishness, “bad days,” and personal biases. After that, take a look at your management team and employees. If you need to, you can call out some employees and tell them that certain negative attitudes and behaviour will not be tolerated at your company. Just remember that this should be done privately. Embrace Health and Wellbeing in Your Company Culture Smart employers understand that when their employees are healthy, engaged, and focused, it’s good for the company. Numerous studies show that employees who feel like their work is meaningful and they are respected and supported experience greater levels of wellbeing and are more loyal to their companies. Studies also show that communication breakdowns in a company can be a major source of stress. Job satisfaction and employee loyalty may suffer if your team feels left out from conversations, unable to give honest feedback and overburdened with information. Your goal is clear, open, responsive and effective communication. Your employees should be provided with easy access to the information they need without being overloaded. In terms of workload, long hours may lead to increased productivity initially, but it’s not a sustainable strategy. In the long run, it will lead to poor work-life balance, stress, burnout, lower productivity and higher turnover. To prevent this, you’ll want to encourage your employees to: Work reasonable hours; Take full lunch breaks; Avoid working on weekends; Use all of their vacation time; Rest and recover following periods of increased workload. Everyone at the company can benefit from flexible work arrangements. This could be in terms of their working hours, where they work, or how they work. It will promote a company culture centred on health and wellbeing, which will inspire loyalty. Bear in mind that exhaustion impairs a person’s mental acuity, including their ability to concentrate and their reflexes. If you don’t allow them time to rest, you’re not just decreasing productivity and morale. You’re also increasing the risk of accidents and injuries. Every working environment has some health and safety risks, even if yours is a cosy, air-conditioned office. For example, your employees can get injured because of poor lighting and bad layout. As their employer, you have a legal obligation to maintain proper health and safety procedures. Disregarding this obligation can result in legal action and loss of reputation. You can learn more about workplace accident claims if you visit an online platform dedicated to the subject. Reward Appropriately Money may not be the only reason people go to work, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Financial rewards can be very motivating. A major indicator of how much a company values its employees is the standard of living it provides for them. Offering incentives for exceeding sales targets or providing exceptional customer service will motivate employees to go above and beyond. If possible, providing employees with a piece of the profits is another excellent motivator. Knowing they own a small piece of the company shifts their perspective. These financial incentives go hand in hand with showing appreciation. We mentioned earlier in this article that the most common reason people leave a company is that they feel underappreciated. If employees feel appreciated at work and rewarded fairly for their contribution, they’re more emotionally connected to their companies and less likely to switch jobs. Besides the financial incentives, it’s important to show appreciation and gratitude by saying “Thank you!” or “I really appreciate the good work you’ve done on this project.” Even if they’re not your top performers, recognizing their efforts and showing appreciation directly can motivate them to push harder and improve.