Those days, when employees stayed at one job for the entire career, are long gone. Millennials are entering the labour market with a completely different approach to work and life than their parents and grandparents. Keeping employees loyal to your company is getting harder. Financial compensation is not enough anymore.

Loyal employees are the core of the company. Surprisingly, not every CEO thinks the same way. They consider the wellbeing and further education of their employees as a cost. They focus on increasing revenue, productivity and reducing spendings. Ironically, it’s a proven fact that long term employees have positive impact on a whole company culture. They feel connected to the company and it’s in their personal interest for their company to succeed. They share their knowledge and skills, help to resolve problems and motivate co-workers. As a result they boost the productivity of the teams and increase the revenue.

Let me introduce you a few techniques how you can build a loyal employee base:

Hire wisely

Hiring process is the core activity. You’re choosing the best candidate for your job with a tendency to stay long term with you. Focus on their values and qualities. It’s not easy to find the best match but it’s in your own interest to invest more and find someone who is qualified for the job and his values meet yours. During the entire hiring process you can observe their motivation and ambitions.

Be careful not to employ overqualified person for some basic job. Hire accordingly. If an employee is not challenged and feels underestimated, he leaves.

Give your employees opportunity to grow

Obviously, you want the best people to work for you. You can help your employees to be the experts in the industry. And yes, you make them very desirable for the competitors.

Have you heard this joke? CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?” CEO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”

It’s a risk. You invest a lot of money in the development of your employee and they can always leave. If you want to keep them you have to give them a very good reason to stay. Courses, seminars, conferences, certifications increases their value on the labour market. It also increases their competence and expertise. Your employees can always leave to find something, what they want. You can give them what they want. It’s not just about money anymore.

Show them opportunities for promotion

As people grow, they love to take more challenges and see their effort to pay off. Bigger responsibility, new opportunities and higher pay check. There are actually a few directions how an employee can be promoted. They don’t have to become team leaders, managers, VPs one day. They might be interested in cross functional promotion. For instance, your employee is a developer and he doesn’t want to lead the team of his co-workers. Instead he wants to try something new and move to another projects, improve some other skill.

Challenge your employees

We need challenges to grow. Give your employees the opportunities to test their skills and competence. They’re motivated to perform better and they can track their own personal and professional progress.

Make your employees feel appreciated

Employees needs to feel that they’re appreciated at the workplace. If the company is not loyal and interested in their employes, why should they be? What is the tie between the employee and the company? Paycheck at the end of the month is not enough. If this is the only thing, why your employees stay at work, you can be easily replaced.

According to research conducted by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, even small signs of appreciation have impact on the quality of employee’s work. The experiment revealed that the combination of motivating words and performance-oriented piece salary increases the performance by 20% and reduces the error rate by 40%.

Introduce a resilience program

Every single employee goes through certain phases throughout their career. Even the most challenging and rewarding job can sometimes end up in a burnout. It’s always beneficial to offer your employees extra care and resilience program can prevent burnout of employees and depression. Recently I wrote a blogpost about wellbeing of employees. You can read it here and learn how great investment opportunity is it for you.

Give them purpose

You might not be that type of business which is saving the world. You can be manufacturer of glass windows for cars. Your mission is not entirely connected to improving the environment, helping poor and getting people healthy. But you can still give your company an extra purpose. CSR activities and volunteering makes you connected to your employees also on a deeper level.

Salaries don’t make people happier. There is a whole science behind it. Having loyal and long term employees at your company definitely pays off.