Employee loyalty

Words of wisdom for this week

“The tragedy of the world is that men have given first class loyalty to second class causes and these causes have betrayed them.”
~ Lynn Hough

There seems to be a trend today – many employees are jumping ship at the first sign of a better opportunity elsewhere, or if they feel that their organization has somehow let them down or wronged them in some way. (i.e. financially, in terms of promotion or career path opportunities, or any number of other disappointments due to either real or imaginary expectations on their part.)

Several friends of mine have written entire books on this subject. Management seminars are conducted with regularity on this topic. The approach I would like to take this week is: how can better hiring prevent a lack of employee loyalty?

There are a number of factors that influence employee loyalty. Here are just a few.

  • the general state of the economy.
  • the availability of trained workers in a particular discipline.
  • the rapid growth of technology.
  • the increase of entrepreneurial enterprises.
  • the 4 major age segments in the marketplace – boomers, X & Y generation, the over 60 crowd, and men vs. women.
  • peer pressure for more, better, sooner, faster.
  • the need for personal identity and autonomy.
  • changing/increasing spiritual awareness/values (the desire for personal freedom, congruence, wholeness, free time, family etc.).
  • a lack of commitment on the part of many people today.
  • what I call the ‘teenage mentality’ – a short attention span or the need for constant stimulation from new experiences, sources, or circumstances.
  • the opportunities alluded to and communicated to new hires.
  • the availability of entry level unskilled talent.
  • the growth/decline of an industry or organization.
  • parental, societal, peer, or education driven expectations/attitudes.

So, what can you do in the hiring process to ensure you are not looking for a replacement for last month’s new hire?

  1. Don’t hire under pressure.
  2. Hire attitudes – not talent or skills.
  3. Have several people interview the candidates.
  4. Have an employee contract.
  5. Create an organizational culture where people don’t ever want to leave.
  6. Have a CLEAR and ACCURATE understanding of the expectations, attitudes, desires, and agendas of the candidates.
  7. Don’t allude to or promise that which you can’t deliver.
  8. Don’t rush the hiring process. Be patient.
  9. Have a clear understanding of the roles/responsibilities you are looking for.
  10. Know the general trends/attitudes/expectations of the above four groups.
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