Frequently Asked Questions About Staff Loyalty

Is there a connection between staff loyalty and customer loyalty?
Yes, there is a definite connection. When you look at world-class companies which consistently earn high levels of customer loyalty (MBNA, USAA, Southwest Airlines), you will find they have very low staff turnover as well. Research has shown time and again, it’s darn near impossible to create customer loyalty with a staff that is constantly in turnover. Customers buy relationships and continuity. You lose both of these with high staff turnover.

What’s the state of staff turnover in today’s corporations?
Staff turnover is near 20-year highs for many companies. Two research firms, Walker Information and Hudson Institute, recently joined forces to conduct a nationwide employee loyalty study. The results confirmed that staff loyalty is in short supply. Here is a sampling:

Only 24% of employees consider themselves truly loyal, committed to their organization, and planning to stay at least two years.

33% of employees were high risk, not committed and not planning to stay.

39% were classified as trapped. They plan to stay, but are not committed to their organization.

Among those who felt they worked for an ethical organization, 55% were truly loyal. For those who didn’t feel they worked for an ethical organization, the loyalty figure was 9%.

What are some tried and true ways to keep staff from leaving?
In our newest book, Customer Win back: how to Recapture Lost Customers and Keep them Loyal, we devote a full chapter to building a fiercely loyal staff. We identify nine best practices for building staff loyalty and examine each of them. They are:

Build a climate of trust.
Train, train and cross-train
Make sure each employee has a career path
Provide frequent staff evaluations and reviews
Seek to inform, seek to debrief
Recognize and reward initiative.
Ask employees what they want and give it to them.
By all means, have fun.
Hire the right employees in the first place.

Don’t measure staff satisfaction, measure staff loyalty. There’s lots to know about conducting staff loyalty research. You’ll want to seek the help of an outside expert (we can help!) to design and implement your research. Here’s some guidelines to keep you on track.

Avoid measuring employee satisfaction. Instead, ask questions that measure your firm’s performance as an employer. (i.e. On a scale from 1 to 5, rate our performance as your employer.)

Measure your employee’s likelihood to remain as an employee. Likewise, measure your employee’s likelihood to recommend the company to other potential employees. (i.e. On a scale from 1 to 5, how likely are you to recommend the company to other potential employees?)

In your staff loyalty study, you will want to include attribute statements that address each of the following six themes.

Cohesion – These attributes address teamwork and communication between and within groups, plus work quality, effectiveness, and staff/management interaction

Morale/Culture – These attributes address the ‘fabric’ of the organization, consideration of staff needs, and desirability as a place of employment

Career Security/Growth – These attributes address the employees’ sense of ‘shared destiny’, or belief that the company will support their security, growth, and career development

Business Confluence – These attributes address the extent to which employees partner and participate in the company’s vision, mission, and strategic objectives

Customer Focus – These attributes address the employees’ opinions of the company’s initiatives and responsiveness with customers, and how the tools they are provided help with that goal.

Management Effectiveness – These attributes address employees’ views of how well people and processes are managed.

What should I know about conducting staff surveys?
The real test of your staff loyalty methodology is whether it provides you actionable results and findings. That’s why we use the same customer loyalty compass approach (but modified for staff) which produces easy-to-use staff loyalty graphics and charts.