A group of male and female workers and their manager are gathered around a large table. They are laughing while discussing something.
Bolstering employee loyalty doesn't always come down to money. Investing in professional development and needed resources and improving communication can keep team members. — Getty Images/Luis Alvarez

Most workplaces don’t have a strong sense of employee loyalty — the average company loses 18% of its workforce each year, and 12% of that figure comprise employees who voluntarily leave. Employee turnover is a costly and time-consuming problem to have, but there are ways to deal with it. And that starts by focusing on building employee loyalty.

[Read more: 5 Proven Ways to Increase Employee Satisfaction]

What is employee loyalty?

Employee loyalty refers to individuals who stay in their current role because they enjoy it and believe their employer has their best interests in mind. A loyal employee is unlikely to seek out employment elsewhere, and they’re committed to the company’s success.

Employee loyalty is tricky to manage because it deals with the emotions behind why an individual stays in their current role or looks for another job. To increase employee loyalty, you have to increase the positive emotions your staff experiences while they’re at work.

But it’s worth the effort, since loyal employees tend to be more growth-oriented and have an easier time adapting to changes in the workplace. They’re also more dedicated to your company’s success, which makes your entire organization stronger.

Top performers want to continue growing and learning, and the best way to incentivize them to stay is by investing in their professional development.

3 ways to improve employee loyalty

The “great resignation” ended in 2023, when the number of employees quitting their jobs dropped to 2019 levels. Employee loyalty is still one of the best ways to set your company up for success, but it takes more than offering better benefits. Here are three steps you can take to improve employee loyalty.

1. Invest in professional training and development

According to research from McKinsey, 35% of employees quit their jobs because of a lack of professional development opportunities. Of the employees who left, 59% said it was because their employers didn’t invest in their skills and abilities.

Top performers want to continue growing and learning, and the best way to incentivize them to stay is by investing in their professional development. Look for conferences that will keep them updated on industry trends and offer continuing education opportunities.

You can also give more senior employees a chance to mentor new staff members. These mentorship opportunities improve camaraderie at work and set your organization up for greater success.

[Read more: 8 Unique and Transferable Skills Worth Teaching Employees]

2. Give employees the tools and resources they need

A common complaint at work is that many employees don’t have the tools needed to do their jobs effectively. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to complete your work with inadequate resources. This is especially important as more people switch to hybrid or remote work.

Do your employees have the right equipment to manage meetings, to-do lists, and team collaborations? If you don’t know, you can start by asking them what resources would help make their jobs easier. This question also shows your staff you’re invested in their well-being and care about their feedback, which can also boost employee loyalty.

3. Improve workplace communication

The McKinsey data also showed that 35% of employees quit their jobs because of uncaring leaders, and another 35% left due to unrealistic work expectations. A key takeaway from those findings is the need for management to be better about fostering communication at work.

When you don’t communicate with your employees, they’re left to fill in the gaps on their own, and you may not like what they come up with. Look for ways to stay in touch with your employees and promote positive communication. For example, you can send out a weekly company newsletter sharing some of the wins for that week and recognizing certain employees for their achievements.

But you also want to encourage employees to communicate with one another. That could be through a messaging platform like Slack, video conferencing software, or regularly scheduled company meetups.

[Read more: Want to Boost Productivity? Letting Employees Goof Off Might Help]

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