Eight Ways to Destroy Employee LoyaltyEmployee loyalty is important to the health of any business organization, but many business leaders unknowingly undermine loyalty with their leadership styles.

In an OpenForum article, Mike Michalowicz, CEO of Provendus Group, looks at patterns of employee dissatisfaction, and identifies eight ways business leaders are driving talented team members away from their organizations.

Eight Ways to Destroy Employee Loyalty

  1. You require 24/7 access. Business leaders often believe 24/7 access is important. But just because they choose to eat, sleep, and breathe their business, it’s unreasonable and short-sighted to think every team members wants to always be on. Give team members the time and opportunity to recharge, unplug, and relax and they’ll approached each new week with a fresh perspective and renewed enthusiasm. “Requiring that your staff be on call and available around the clock will inevitably produce resentful employees,” says Michalowicz.
  2. You require your staff to do work where they're not strong. “One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made was failing to assign the right duties to my employees. If you take the time to match your staff with responsibilities they’re good at, everyone will be happier," says Michalowicz. Part of the responsibility of any business leader is to identify areas of key competencies in their employees, and assigning duties based on that expertise. There’s a difference between coaching team members to develop in other areas, and assigning duties without carefully considering interest and skill levels.
  3. You refer to team members as “human resources.” It should go without saying that you must treat team members like human beings, but Michalowicz says he “observed a meeting in which a manager lamented the fact that his company was “low on human inventory.” If business leaders hope to transform employee loyalty into productivity and results, they have to treat them with respect and understanding.
  4. You expect Expecting your team members to make the company part of their social lives. Recognize your team members have a right to their own private lives—as long as it doesn’t affect their work or the reputation of your company. “Don’t overstep the boundaries of your business by expecting to see Facebook updates revolving around your company on your staff’s personal pages,” says Michalowicz. You can’t force culture, and you can’t mandate participation.
  5. You blame the rules. Business leaders often forget they write the rules and policies of the organization—and then blame the rules when conflict arises. Use your discretion when evaluating team member conflicts to make appropriate decisions that are in the best interest of the company. Favoring the company manual over the team member is a quick way to erode trust, and destroy morale.
  6. You ask for input and then ignore it. “If you’re going to solicit or require input from your staff, you owe it to them to consider that input," says Michalowicz. Team members want to know their insight and perspective are valued, and they’ll reward you with their dedication when you make an effort to listen.
  7. You focus on money as the primary motivator. When it comes to employee loyalty, compensation is the least effective and most expensive motivator. “Focus on finding challenges that yield fulfillment and a sense of purpose,” recommends Michalowicz.
  8. You put your company ahead of your team members. Support and protect your team members, and they’ll reward you with long-term loyalty. Employee satisfaction and retention can affect your bottom line, and help build positive client relations as well.

Michalowicz ends by saying, “Investing in employee loyalty is one of the most profitable decisions you can make.”