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  • Kevin “Special K” Daley

Here’s How to Create Old-School Company Loyalty


You may not find too many areas of your business in which you are striving to be “old-school.” You’re not dying to resurrect all your fax machines or actually (gulp) use real paper files. We live in an age in which “old-school” usually means “washed-up”—except with company loyalty. In the arena of employee happiness and devotion, old-school is a rare treasure worth digging for.

Decades ago an employee was proud to be called “a company man,” meaning he was loyal to a fault to the company name and reputation. It used to be that the idea of starting and ending your career with the same company was normal, not peculiar. That era is virtually gone, and the impact has been devastating for companies that cannot keep up with employee dissatisfaction.

Employee unhappiness costs organizations a half-trillion dollars annually. Even among employees who report being thoroughly committed, 37% of them are still looking for new opportunities. So, who cares about employee happiness or loyalty? Shouldn’t they be happy to have a job in a competitive market? You should care because organizations with high employee engagement outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%.

So, how do you create a company environment in which your employees’ weekends aren’t spent sending out resumés? Work at these two basic strategies to elevate devotion among your people.

Be Realistic (about their compensation needs)

The art of employee compensation is to strike a balance between taking care of the company and taking care of your employees. However, even just coming a little under what your employee needs can have a long-term negative impact on your bottom line as you spend time and money retraining new hires. Find out what the industry average is for your employees’ positions and endeavor to beat it—and let them know that’s your goal. Involve them in a performance-based bonus system. Offer free financial planning services so that your people know you care for their families and homes and not just their work.

Be Relational (in your regular interactions) Company loyalty is often associated with how employees feel about their bosses. A leader who genuinely cares about his/her people and how their overall lives are

going makes for employees who want to return that care with hard work and diligence. On the flip side, a leader who makes it clear that employees are tools in the hand of the company is going to find himself hiring new “tools” quite regularly. Take the extra couple minutes to ask real questions about the lives of your people and you will find them anxious to repay that kindness.

If you will be realistic about compensation and be relational in your interactions, employee turnover will decrease and thus productivity and profits will increase. Old-school, but right on the money.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Kevin Daley, a former professional basketball player and 10-year veteran and captain of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, is an award-winning author, keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and business coach. His newest book, 1 plus one = TEN: The Secret LEADERSHIP Formula only ELITE Leaders Know, is a must-read for both seasoned leaders in any field and up-and-coming young future leaders.