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Beyond the paycheck: Three things you need to know about employee loyalty in 2024

4 mins  |  30.04.2024

The world of work is busy. It’s messy. And, above all, it’s competitive. The quest for the best talent is one filled with pitfalls, lies, and booby traps. Yet, amongst the lies and lip service, one truth shines clear: employee loyalty is more than a bonus — and it can’t be bought. 

Employee loyalty is the bedrock of any thriving organisation. The golden goose, if you will. So, we’re going to uncover what really keeps people sticking around, creating a career out of a job, and turning their workplace into a community. Gather round the campfire, and get your marshmallows ready — let’s unravel the mystery together. 

Connection: It’s more than a paycheck

Today’s world is fast, saturated, and digital-first. Mass consumption is the eternal flavour of the month, and connection is often left on the back burner. You’d be forgiven for thinking that a phat paycheck is the key to unlocking that sweet, sweet loyalty, and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. It’ll certainly get people through the door, but it won’t incentivise them to stay. You’ll have rich employees, but probably not loyal ones. 

Here’s the kicker: it’s the human connections that matter. The feeling of being part of something bigger.

Creating a work environment in which everyone feels seen, heard and valued is the ultimate goal. To do this, you need to foster a culture where teammates aren’t just cogs in the machine, but people who are actively contributing to your overarching purpose. Leaders who prioritise regular check-ins, celebrate successes (no matter how small), and genuinely care about their team’s wellbeing are the ones engendering such a culture. 

Investing in growth

This side of loyalty is pretty simple. If you show your investment in your people’s growth, they’ll show their investment in you. After all, we all want to become experts in what we do, and that’s easier at some companies than others. A job should be more than a job — it should be an opportunity to master your craft, to seize opportunities to learn something new, to stretch yourself, and to grow. If you can offer that, you’ll create unbeatable loyalty. 

This starts with investing in your team’s professional development. It’s not a nice-to-have anymore, it’s a must. Whether it’s through training programs, mentoring or providing opportunities to broaden one’s wheelhouse, showing your people that you want them to grow will pay dividends in loyalty and retention. When people can see a future for themselves in your organisation, they’re far more likely to stick around and chase it. 

Working towards something greater

Understanding the power of purpose will transform the way you build loyalty in your business. If your employees are engaged with your purpose, you’ve created a compelling reason for them to get out of bed in the morning. You’ve also created a sense of pride in their work, and your company. Ultimately, people want to know that their work matters, and that they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves. 

Organisations that have a clear, compelling vision (and show how each employee’s efforts contribute to said vision) win big on loyalty. It’s about creating a culture where work isn’t just work — it’s a mission, and a collective endeavour towards a shared goal. If your people feel part of something meaningful, their connection to the company will deepen — fueling loyalty, and driving retention. 

Embracing the human side of work

Flexibility is a thread that weaves through every aspect of loyalty. The days of the rigid 9-5, clockwatching and dreary coffee machine chats are long gone. Today, acknowledging the human side of work means embracing flexibility over where, when and how work gets done. 

Offering flexible ways of working shows the trust and respect you have for your employees’ time, needs, lifestyles and responsibilities outside of work. It shows you see them as people, not staff. This level of understanding and accommodation is an unavoidable cornerstone of loyalty — helping your people to balance the demands of work and life, without having to sacrifice one for the other. 

Celebrating the wins

The final ingredient in the loyalty pie is recognition.

We’re all human, and we all like to be appreciated.

In the workplace, this appreciation is a critical driver of loyalty. A simple thank you, a shout-out in a team meeting or in slack, or even an Employee of the Month award can make a real difference in how motivated your people feel. 

And recognition doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive — small gestures make a big difference, in most cases. It’s the thought that counts, and the acknowledgement of effort. Creating a culture of recognition, where everyone acknowledges and celebrates the contributions of others, creates a community of belonging that’s hard to leave. 

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How we do it at Wiser

At Wiser, we understand that building a culture of loyalty is no accident. It’s the result of intention, of strategy, and of recognising the value of purpose and connection. We spend every day trying to create an environment where people don’t just want to work — they want to belong, contribute, and grow. 

So, if you’re trying to boost loyalty in your business, remember — the secret isn’t locked in a vault. It’s in the everyday actions. The culture you cultivate, and the values you live by. It’s about ignoring the ordinary, and creating a workplace where loyalty thrives, and every team member feels like they’re part of something bigger.

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