find five ways to show loyalty to your employees and job candidates for stronger team culture.
For most employers, the ideal employee is a loyal employee. These individuals are engaged in their work and are truly invested in their organization’s larger goals. They take advantage of opportunities to grow professionally, improve the organization’s internal culture, and run with final decisions made from the top.
In reality, however, loyalty is a two-way street. You can’t expect to have employees who are loyal unless you, as an employer, demonstrate your commitment to them.
It’s not uncommon for employers to focus on what they need from employees, rather than considering what employees need from them. That’s why we’ve created this guide. In it, we share five actionable ways to show loyalty to employees and demonstrate a culture of loyalty to job candidates:
- Accept that you can only control the loyalty you show
- Be transparent about everything
- Create a process for recognizing high performers
- Prioritize safety and security with background checks
- Listen to and act on feedback
As you incorporate these five tips into your workplace operations, you’ll find that you’re creating an environment where loyalty can grow. This in turn will help you scale hiring efforts and accomplish major goals. Let’s jump right in!
1. Accept that you can only control the loyalty you show
The first way to effectively demonstrate your loyalty toward employees and job candidates involves accepting what you can and can’t control. One of the things you will never be able to fully control is how loyal your employees feel toward your organization.
Astron Solutions’ guide to employee loyalty puts it this way: “You can’t control your employees’ feelings about their jobs or your organization. The only thing within your control is your ability to create a work environment in which employees thrive in their roles, causing them to feel loyal to your organization and you as a leader.”
In other words, if you want your employees to be loyal to your organization and to you as a leader of that organization, you need to open the doors to a positive work experience that invites employees to feel that loyalty toward you.
Whether you’ll be employing more equitable hiring practices or facilitating social events to boost your internal culture, it’s important to take on the mindset that your inclination toward loyalty is the one that can make all the difference.
2. Be transparent about everything
Transparency builds trust, which is the foundation of genuine loyalty. By establishing early on in your relationship with an employee that you’re willing to be transparent about everything—the good news and the bad—you’ll communicate that you see your employees as an integral part of your organization.
Lay the groundwork for transparency during the employment experience by writing thorough job descriptions. Provide clear and accurate information about the following:
- Your organization’s mission and values
- Qualifications and skills a candidate must have
- Expectations and responsibilities for the role
- The compensation you’re offering
Being transparent in your job descriptions will not only help you to find the best person to fill the role but also will help establish the expectations you and your employees can have for each other.
Once a job candidate is hired, you should also be transparent about the not-so-good things that go on in your organization. For example, if you lose an important client to your competition, your employees should know. You can turn it into a learning experience for everyone, helping staff learn from past mistakes.
This will help your employees feel like they’re part of the team and that they play a role in your organization's ability to improve. That sense of belonging will, in turn, contribute to their feelings of loyalty.
3. Create a process for recognizing high performers
Recognizing your employees makes them feel valued and appreciated in their roles and can lead to stronger retention, which is why setting up a process for recognizing high performers is such a valuable part of demonstrating loyalty toward those who work for you.
To set up a recognition program, try the following strategies:
- Determine the eligibility requirements for recognition. How does someone earn a reward through your recognition program? It may be helpful to set up different eligibility tiers. For example, an extra-quick response to a customer email might warrant a shoutout in your next team meeting, while going above and beyond on a month-long project might make someone eligible for extra PTO.
- Come up with stellar recognition award ideas. To motivate all of your employees to perform to the best of their abilities and receive recognition, offer rewards you know they’ll love. These might include reserved parking spots at the office, tickets to local theater productions or sporting events, or spot bonuses. Choose the types of recognition that will get your employees excited to work.
- Be consistent with your recognition strategy. The worst thing you can do with a recognition program is to not administer it fairly. Consistently award team members when they earn recognition. For example, if one employee does great work onboarding another employee and is rewarded for that, another employee who does the same thing the following month should receive a similar reward. This will ensure that everyone feels their contributions are just as appreciated as their coworkers’.
A little recognition can go a long way in showing your employees that you care about them and want them to continue working for you. Even simple gestures like stopping by someone’s desk or sending over an email to say “Thank you!” can communicate your loyalty and contribute to overall morale.
4. Prioritize safety and security with background checks
Another effective way to demonstrate your loyalty to both your employees and job candidates is to make safety and security a top priority during the hiring process and in your everyday work environment.
Leveraging background check technology can protect you, your current employees, and job candidates. Not only does a background check help you to identify a candidate’s fitness for a role, but it also can give you information about a candidate’s:
- Employment history
- Licenses and certifications
Taking the opportunity to verify that someone has the skills and background they need to succeed in a position will help you determine that they are prepared for the job they seek.
Part of the background check process also involves setting clear and fair adjudication guidelines. If someone has a criminal record, be sure you’re up to date with federal and local guidelines so that all actions are taken in compliance with applicable laws.
Employ EEOC guidelines on performing fair adjudication, and use a background check provider that allows for open communication with job candidates. Candidates may be able to contextualize or give additional information about their background to help you better understand the situation. Taking the time to hear someone’s story can show true and genuine loyalty, and opens your candidate pool to a wider population.
5. Listen to and act on feedback
The most loyal employers are willing to improve the work environment, and they aren’t afraid to turn to their employees for ideas. There are informal ways to request feedback from employees, such as one-on-one conversations, but you also can formalize employee feedback and make it part of an employee survey or the performance management process.
Once you have feedback from your employees, make it clear that you’re going to act on that feedback and get back to them. For example, if you run a nonprofit and one of your staff members suggests a few ways to strengthen your approach to managing your volunteers, you might want to follow up with that employee again after making the suggested changes. If you can't act on a piece of feedback right away, let the employee know. This will make the feedback and improvement process feel more collaborative, once again inviting that employee to feel like they belong at your organization.
It isn’t easy to cultivate loyalty as an employer. But when you accept that you can only control your actions to show loyalty to your employees and job candidates, you will quickly create an environment where employees will be more likely to feel invested in their work and loyal to your organization and its goals.