By David DeMoss
There are many factors that contribute to employee commitment and loyalty. Some may argue that compensation or company prestige are main reasons employees stay at a company long term. Others may think healthcare and fringe benefits could be the biggest contributor. Although all these factors are indeed important, relationship experts John and Julie Gottman believe that engagement and recognition are the cornerstones of a successful long-term relationship, whether that be in your personal or professional life.
Rumor has it, that when an employee feels seen and appreciated, they are more likely to be motivated to engage and dedicate their time and efforts to the shared mission of the company. In the article below, written by Ryan Lui, the Gottmans suggest four ideas to increase your teams and employees’ loyalty and commitment which can lead to higher levels of productivity and efficiency.
1. Build and talk about trust and commitment
People don’t quit their jobs; they quit their bosses. Your employees and team want someone who they can trust and know will be on their side. They’re not looking for a lover, but someone who will not betray them in the future. Work betrayal is an unfortunately ordinary reality too many people have experienced or see as inevitable. Be different and be someone people can trust.
The Gottmans suggest asking the person the last time they felt you broke their trust or how you can build trust with them.
In the popular communication book Crucial Conversations, the authors go into what it takes to build trust with another person. Building trust, they write, involves creating a safe environment. What that means for employers and managers is letting people talk and ask questions and avoiding talking over others or squashing ideas.
To maintain and increase team commitment and loyalty, talk to your team about them and how you can build them together.
2. Acknowledge your differences
Just as there are differences between individuals in romantic relationships that will never and do not necessarily need to be overcome, so too are there bound to be differences among people in work relationships.
When building trust and commitment, you and your teammates can discuss your differences. This could involve simply going over a personality assessment and discussing each other’s’ various strengths and weaknesses. It might include sharing a vulnerable moment or two.
To keep your team committed and loyal, have honest conversations about your differences and weaknesses to develop understanding and compassion.
3. Make fun and adventure normal
Incorporating staff fun days and weekly or daily happy hours — something dedicated to having fun — will increase your team’s happiness and loyalty. You don’t need a ball pit or a ton of alcohol. Instead, do something once in a while that prioritizes your team’s happiness over the company’s profits.
To keep your team committed and loyal, ensure there are opportunities for fun and adventure throughout the week and year.
4. Help them grow
Companies should seek ways to help and enable their employees to feel a sense of completion and betterment.
If you have someone passionate about what they do, provide opportunities for them to grow — or risk them leaving to find these opportunities elsewhere. In Drive, Daniel Pink suggests that people are driven primarily not by tangible things such as money but by the intangible. One of those intangibles is mastery, a desire to grow and become an expert or master in their field.
To keep your team members committed and loyal, commit to their growth. Have intentional conversations about their passions and dreams and how you can help them follow them. Help your people become masters of their fields and reap the benefits of their expertise.