Low-Cost Ideas for Building Employee Loyalty
by Mary Crisafulli
These days, you can’t read the paper, watch the news or surf the net without hearing about the sad state of the economy. Regardless of how severely your business has been affected by this recession, there are a number of low- or no-cost ways to recognize employees that will boost your employee loyalty and deliver a strong return on investment for years to come.
When you do the math, your employees probably spend more of their waking hours with their “work families” than they do with their actual families. With little or no expense, you can recognize special days that show your employees that you do think of them as part of a family. By sending cards or small gifts to moms and dads (or their spouses) on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, you’re not only giving them a reason to smile on their special day; you’re giving them reason to smile about the company that employs them. In lieu of cards or gifts, companywide voicemail or e-mail “blasts” are not only great ways to acknowledge these “Hallmark Holidays,” they’re also an efficient way to salute business achievements, such as reaching sales goals or new business wins.
Larger celebrations like monthly breakfasts, holiday lunches and even Halloween costume contests can go a long way in showing employees that they are part of a valued family. Though more costly to host than on-site events, off-site “Family Days” like trips to the zoo, amusement parks or even the movies are also effective ways to promote work/life balance and recognize the hard work and loyalty of your employees.
Another outstanding way for organizations to reward employees and foster loyalty is to offer leadership training opportunities. The benefits of such activities pay dividends today and tomorrow. In the short term, employees who are chosen for leadership training view their selection as an incentive for doing exemplary work. Down the road, when an increase in revenue dictates an expansion in business, you’ll have a well-trained and capable team of people who can easily assume the leadership roles you’ll need to fill.
With few exceptions, the longer an employee stays with an organization, the more valuable they become and the harder they are to replace. That’s why it is so important to celebrate milestones, acknowledge contributions and reward hard work – in good economic times and bad. At the end of the day, doing these little things not only makes sense from a business perspective, it makes sense from a human one, as well.