Employee loyalty doesn’t happen by signing a paycheck; it must be ignited by a compelling vision.
Your responsibility as a leader is to develop employee loyalty by making sure you have the right people on your team, engaging them, and nurturing their growth. You spend a lot of time and financial resources on hiring, training and retaining your talent to fulfill this responsibility as a manager and leader. But do these investments truly succeed in igniting employee loyalty on your team?
Developing employee loyalty has become more difficult than in generations past. The much-discussed job hopping of younger employees may be a symptom of the problems managers face today, but they don’t explain the full story. The labor market is forever structurally changed from the one we lived in even less than a decade ago, meaning you need to find ways to adjust.
Leaders around the world are finding new meaning in what they do by defining a vision that the whole organization can share. Your vision plays a huge role in your ability to ignite employee loyalty in your organization. It isn’t the whole story, but it is the foundation for everything that you and your people do. To impact employee loyalty, your vision must be aspirational, compelling, and you have to make sure you and your team live it every day.
Spark A Compelling Vision
Define why your organization exists in the marketplace and what makes your existence different from your competitors. At Crestcom, we provide practical leadership and management tools and training to companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations around the world. But that’s our what. It tells people what we do, but it says nothing about why we do it.
We do what we do to create a better world by developing stronger, more ethical leaders around the globe.
That is our why. That is why each person in the Crestcom organization around the world gets out of bed in the morning, brushes their teeth, goes to work, and does what they do 8+ hours a day. The passion everyone in the organization has for creating a better world for everyone and for developing leaders that will join our mission to do it drives everything we do.
You can’t borrow someone else’s vision. You have to define your vision yourself, and it has to be something that you are personally passionate about. If you can’t personally invest in your vision through thick and thin—throughout those days, weeks, and (maybe) months when business is looking grim—then it’s not your vision. It’s someone else’s vision. Or it’s a vision that you think other people want to hear.
You have to start with YOUR vision before you can get others on-board with it.
Build Employee Loyalty By Sharing Your Vision
Don’t keep your vision to yourself. Share it with your team, vendors, clients—everyone! And make sure your team shares your vision with you.
You can get your current team to share your new vision, but you may find that there is a segment of employees who do not want to live your company vision. They may even start actively working against your vision.
You need to be able to commit to your vision to the point that you have to let those people who cannot live your vision go. Letting an undercurrent of negativity and counterproductivity fester on your team only erodes the commitment and loyalty of other employees. They will interpret this as proof that you are not committed to your own vision that you are asking them to commit themselves to.
It may also be that you are building a new team or filling open positions as you are crafting your vision. Infuse your vision in your talent search. Try to get to know candidates you are evaluating by asking them questions about their vision for their own future and learn about their interests outside of work.
Reignite Employee Loyalty Every Day
Once you’ve defined your vision and you have the right people on your team, you need to reignite employee loyalty every single day. You do this by living your vision.
Communication is important. You should be repeating your vision over and over again, to the point you’re tired of saying it. And each person on your team should be able to repeat it. But talk isn’t everything. It’s not enough to simply communicate your vision to your employees every now and then, or even often. They have to see your vision in action in the decisions you make, the initiatives you drive, and how you conduct yourself.
Solidify employee loyalty with your actions. When your employees experience your vision first-hand, and they see you living it, it comes alive.
Employee loyalty doesn’t just happen because you sign the paychecks. You need to spark it, build it, and ignite employee loyalty by crafting a vision for the future that your employees can commit to. Your vision is the foundation for everything you and your team do every day, and it is the foundation for igniting loyalty to achieving organizational goals.