Supervisory Leadership

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What are the drivers of employee loyalty?

When you're considering employee loyalty I think it makes sense to use terms that Frederick Herzberg devised several years ago. Herzberg identified hygiene factors and motivation factors.

Hygiene factors are things that don't drive loyalty, but if they're not present, loyalty can't grow. Trust would be one. A sense of fairness would be another. If folks don't feel like they're being fairly treated, including fairly compensated, then they won't be loyal.

Motivation factors can increase loyalty. Many of them are relationship-based. People will stay where they are working with people they like. They will stay where they have a good boss.

Interesting and meaningful work can drive loyalty as well. People want to think that what they do is important and they want to be stimulated by their daily work.

Finally, I think, people are more likely to be loyal to an employer if they have more control over their work life.

It's also worth noting that loyalty is a difficult beastie to describe. Many folks stay in bad situations because they don't want to change, or because they've got good health coverage or because the local job market stinks. That doesn't make them loyal and it sure doesn't make them engaged.


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