4 Ways to Build a Loyal, Committed and Engaged Team
People like doing business with people rather than brands and they trust your employees more than your marketing department, so inspiring your digital native staff to be brand ambassadors and activists is an increasingly powerful marketing tool and helps builds this trust and engagement with your customers (Purple Cubed). To ensure that you’re inspiring your staff to be passionate and loyal brand advocates ensure that you’ve attracted the right staff who fit your company culture and values, that you’ve engaged them from day 1 through onboarding, that you’ve invested in their ongoing training and development to retain and nurture your top talent, and that you’re developing your rising stars with the appropriate tools and support to be great leaders.
1. Onboarding new recruits
Recruiting new staff is a costly and time-consuming business. Once you factor in the time managers spend on interviews, recruitment agency fees, HR time, and wages paid before they reach full productivity you could be looking at £30K per post. So when you’ve got the right people in place you’ll want to keep hold of them, and to do this you’ll need to engage them and get them up to speed as quickly as possible.
Disengagement is something generally thought of as a process, occurring in staff over time, yet it’s your newest employees who are most likely to be thinking of moving on and therefore most in need of engaging. If you’re aiming to increase retention rates you must incentivise and motivate your employees from the moment they join your organisation.
Training is the first thing a new employee goes through after hiring, and the training they receive will help form their first impressions of what it’s like to be a member of your organisation. A training scheme that fails to grab their attention and engage them immediately sets them, and you, on the wrong path. Onboarding that is aligned with your culture and brand is a key engagement tool and will not only will improve staff retention but will increase productivity. What better return on investment is that?
2. Invest in ongoing training & development
“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to” – Richard Branson.
Millennials (who will make up over 50% of the global workforce by 2020) consider their learning and development and the opportunity for career progression as the strongest draw to an organisation, over and above cash bonuses (according to a report by PwC). With staff in the first 6 months of their employment likely to be seeking a new role in the next couple of years, and 9% of those with 2 to 5 years’ service looking to move on, ongoing professional training and development is an area you can’t afford to overlook.
“If you look after your staff, they'll look after your customers” – Richard Branson.
Managers need processes and systems in place that allow them to streamline staff training, and that appeals to the key criteria the younger workforce are seeking out in the work place. This needs to be digitised to increase their engagement and mobile responsive to appeal to the digital native’s love of technology.
If you can put in the structures needed to let your staff operate both easily and effectively, and continually develop and improve their performance, then you’ll be paying it forward straight to your customers.
3. Develop your managers
People work for people. Unless your brand has an overwhelmingly powerful allure (think huge global brands like Google or Apple, or charities and NPOs with the appeal of their social mission), the level of an employee’s loyalty, hard work and commitment is usually due to their manager. Enable your managers to be the best they can by developing their leadership and management skills.
Long-serving team members are often promoted into managerial positions, but ensuring they are well equipped to manage their team can often be overlooked and this can set them up to fail in their new role. Their loyalty, hard work and unparalleled product knowledge are invaluable qualities, but don’t forget that when rewarding them with promotions to managerial positions you must ensure to invest in their professional development to help them succeed.
Managers need to be empowered to orchestrate, manage and lead their teams to success. They need the tools and support to manage people and problems and get the best out of people with tailored leadership & management development programmes.
4. Implement a performance management strategy
How are you going to recruit, retain, develop, reward and ensure your staff fit the culture, making them more likely to be engaged from the start? Your performance management strategy should align with your business strategy and organisation culture and there are many digital tools that can help achieve this.
Managers can use various approaches to engage their team and draw out their skills and talents. For example; replacing annual reviews with continuous feedback drawn from daily interactions between staff and managers, ratings-less performance reviews, and more agile, non-linear career pathways that focus on growth development, expanding experience, and motivating staff through skills and employability rather than title progression.
Businesses need managers to meet strategic objectives and managers need teams to carry out the hard graft on the ground to accomplish these goals. Every employee should have their own set of objectives aligned with the strategic ones, so that everyone knows how their spoke fits into the wheel to keep things moving forwards.
If it’s clearly visible how their input impacts the overall business, it encourages staff engagement and helps facilitate autonomy. Making sure everyone knows what they are doing is a good start, but even better is when managers know what they should be aiming to accomplish in the long term. If businesses know how, when, and by whom things are done then managing performance and understanding the impact on the bottom line becomes more transparent.
Learn Fox can work closely with L&D departments on projects to prioritise professional development and improve staff performance and retention. Learn Fox can help implement or replace your digital learning platform or performance management system from start to finish. We’ll help conduct a review of your requirements, or of your existing platform, identifying the features most important for a successful transformation in your organisation. We can manage the tender process and our impartiality will ensure you select the right solution. We can then take care of all aspects of the implementation itself, including; supplier relationships, the business process review, system configuration requirements, and developing a rollout strategy with effective communications and training plans. With extensive implementation experience from both client and supplier sides we can make your digital learning project easier, letting you and your teams get on with what you do best.