The Loyalty Equation: How to Keep Employees Around Longer

The Loyalty Equation

What is the loyalty equation? Maybe you’ve heard about it in an advertising context – you know, companies trying to establish brand loyalty and create repeat customers. But we’re talking about solving a different type of equation here: the employee loyalty equation.

In the tech world, there’s a lot of emphasis on hiring the right people. Obviously, it’s an important part of the equation. 

But future-proofing your organization goes far beyond hiring. To really future-proof your teams, you’ve got to work to retain employees.

The financial and social benefits of fostering a culture of employee loyalty are undeniable. Onboarding new talent is expensive and time-consuming, and losing existing team members means losing invaluable tribal knowledge.

So how can organizations establish loyalty and create long-term employees? Is that even a thing anymore (especially in tech)?

The short answer: yes, and we’ll break down how to do it in this post. But first, you should understand why good talent leaves good roles.

Jumping ship, explained

Let’s look at some statistics that, according to HR Dive, explain discontent – and disloyalty – among workers:

  • 91% say they want more training opportunities at work 
  • 75% feel undervalued; that their employer puts more effort into recruiting new talent than retaining existing talent
  • 72% are thinking of leaving their jobs because of stunted career progression and a lack of learning opportunities

Mix these stats with an already candidate-driven marketplace and you’ve got an expensive recipe for churn. Tech talent has the upper hand; their skills are in high demand, and they’re in a position to be picky with their professional destinies.

It boils down to this: if employees aren’t getting their needs met within your organization, they’ll jump ship for a gig that could be more rewarding

Generational differences

Ready for some good news? The majority of workers actually want to stick with one job.

More established professionals (hi, Gen X and Baby Boomers!) may be easier to retain – the concept of lifetime employment is familiar and desirable to older age groups – but, perhaps surprisingly, even Millennials and Gen Z prefer to plant roots and stay in a single job.

As these younger generations of pros dominate the tech and software industries, you should reconsider the ways you entice talent to stick around.

Job security alone won’t cut it; Millennials and Gen Z tend to be a bit more skeptical of leadership than their predecessors, and they need to know they’re genuinely valued…or they’ll have trouble seeing a future with your company. 

Creating long-term employees

Of course, offering competitive wages and good benefits packages is essential for keeping good talent longer. But the most effective way you can show employees you value them – and boost your team’s loyalty – is by investing in their growth through learning and development opportunities.

It’s important to tackle L&D the right way. According to one Harvard Business Review article, only 12% of workers who participated in corporate training actually use what they learned on the job –– and what about tech employees with specialized skills? The number’s probably a lot lower.

That’s a lot of wasted resources.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make your upskilling efforts actually helpful:

  • Identify baseline skills to understand your team’s capabilities and spot gaps
  • Work with business leadership stakeholders to predict future needs
  • Build custom training plans that fit your current and future tech stack

This approach is necessary for retaining younger workers while offering more experienced ones chances to expand their skill sets that they may not otherwise seek out. Plus, you’ll ultimately save money on the cost of hiring candidates who have practical skills, but aren’t already familiar with your business’ processes, products, and services.

Balancing the future

Finding the right talent for your team is no easy task, and keeping them long-term is even harder. Taking steps to show employees you value them by providing growth opportunities can make the difference between drowning in the costs of turnover and creating rockstar teams that stay together. Get your copy of our latest white paper to learn how you can solve the loyalty equation in your own organization.

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