If you’re like me and you’ve had your business for 20-something years, then you know that gone are the days of the gold watch for staying loyal to a company for 30 years. Like many of my business owner clients, there was a time when loyalty to an employer meant everything and as an owner, it was, and still is priceless! It’s no wonder why so many discussions at our TAB Board meetings regarding how to get and keep employees to stay longer than a few years at a small company is difficult. I am pleased to share with all business owners that there is in fact still employee loyalty but to achieve it, some owners have to change their mindset around employee loyalty and what it truly means today.
When we read stats like this from The Atlantic, “Study after study show that Millennial workers bring little employer loyalty to their careers, with 60 percent leaving within three years of being hired,” how are we going to gain employee loyalty?
The answer lies in knowing that our younger employees are focused on building their careers, climbing the ladder, and gaining knowledge along the way to bring them to this goal. We need to accept that the workforce has changed, and a younger person may only stay 1-2 years with your company, but they will work their heart out. We need to understand their drive for gaining a serious knowledge portfolio that is “attractive” in the marketplace and that they crave feeling “sought after” for what they know, and love knowing that “they do know”.
With the tremendous costs associated with re-hiring, re-training, workflow disruptions, and consistency in service, we all ideally want to retain only the best employees. An investment needs to be made - investing in THEM.
If you want them to stay a little longer, engage in a conversation regarding their goals, perhaps assisting in a career path plan. You’ll need to show them how they can progress by staying with you. Remember, it’s not always about compensation - your plan has to include learning opportunities, showing what types of knowledge they will gain and the value. You might want to discuss a mentorship program at work with you or other senior management, or even have them take part in your TAB meetings.
If they see a future with you in terms of career growth, learning, and incentives, they will consider staying. If there is no future with you - they will most definitely find it with another employer.