This employee retention speaker and employee retention author was writing one of his weekly blogs like I do every Saturday morning. This week I traveled to several speaking engagements, so I was gone quite a bit. When I get working on my blog I really like to crank away when the thoughts are flowing. What happened this Saturday made me think. My cat…God love him…is the most loyal thing in the world. He greets me when I get home and wants to hang with me a lot particularly when I have been gone for a while because he misses me. As I am writing my blog, the little monster jumps up on my lap which makes it hard to type so I push him away. He comes back. He is persistent. I push him away again and he sits looking at me with this hurt feeling on his face. Then it dawns on me. He’s like an employee. When your employees come to you, you should be happy that they do!
Think about that for a minute. When your loyal employee shows up you can blow them off if it’s not convenient or you’re too busy. Most employees will disappear for a while as they get the message (Unlike my cat). But then they come back later. You blow them off again because you have been gone all week and really have to get some work done. They are probably not going to come back; unlike my cat. They are going to say “screw this” I have been holding this important question all week and now the boss doesn’t even take the time to talk to me. Eventually, they will get over it and you will have a conversation. But, it leaves an impression in their mind that they are not important. Then, you do this over the course of time again and again and again. Not on purpose but you do it. The impact is profound.
You have to make yourself available when your people need you. It is important to them. They should be a priority for you. That is how you build employee loyalty….one tiny act after another. We are talking about basic behavior. Be aware of how your behaviors help or hurt your building of loyalty. Most importantly, the next time one of your people shows up at your door, make the time for them and build some employee loyalty. Oscar the cat is sitting on my lap as I type, his loyalty is worth the extra effort it takes. So are your people!