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Building Cross-Generational Loyalty in the Workplace

“When leaders throughout an organization take an active, genuine interest in the people they manage, when they invest real time to understand employees at a fundamental level, they create a climate for greater morale, loyalty, and, yes, growth.” – Patrick Lencioni

Is loyalty still relevant in a business world where most people move from company to company to move up the ladder? Yes, loyalty is still relevant and is fundamental to retaining and developing a talented workforce. However, loyalty within the workplace looks vastly different from Baby Boomers to Generation X to Millennials.

For example, Baby Boomers held careers that lasted 20-25 years. They were incredibly loyal to their careers. They were lifers. They spent their whole lives working for the same company for 30 years or more. The fast-paced environment of the 21st-century workforce has drastically changed the world and that mentality is fading from the workforce.

Generation X is incredibly loyal to an individual more so than to their career and job. I have seen someone become president of a bank and then later leave that organization to become president of another bank. Then, I watched employees leave the first bank and follow the president to another bank. The same was true with financial advisors. If a financial advisor left an institution, their clients followed that financial advisor to the next institution. The same was also true with principals; if a principal went to work for another district, teachers switched districts to follow that principal. For Generation X, it is more about the person or leader than a career.

Millennials are more loyal to a cause than to a career. They also are loyal to experiences. Forbes reported that Millennials are more likely to seek employment at organizations where they believe in the mission’s cause. In fact, they will take pay cuts to work for a company where their skills will benefit a cause.

So how do you cultivate loyalty within your employees?

Tailor loyalty to the individual.

If you do not intentionally cultivate loyalty within the individuals working for your organization, you will create a company with a revolving door of transactional employees. Transactional employees who are not loyal to the organization can lead to higher turnover, additional training, a non-established workforce, and decreased quality of services and products. Cross-generational loyalty is a novel strategy.

Here are five tips for building loyalty among your employees:

  1. Know what your employees are loyal to and strive to provide that environment.
  2. Provide a company culture that develops loyalty within your employees.
  3. Gauge loyalty frequently and adapt or improve to continue strengthening loyalty.
  4. Provide additional benefits or rewards that are not just money-oriented.
  5. Be loyal to them.

More than ever before, it is essential to know your employees, and what loyalty looks like for them. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has permanently disrupted the workplace. Build a cross-generational loyalty strategy to ensure your workforce is strong and performing at their best…