The concept of employee loyalty has changed over time, and it is true that in today’s fast-paced and uncertain job market, employee loyalty can be seen as an oxymoron. The nature of work and the job market have both become more fluid. Now, employees have more options and opportunities to pursue.
With the rise of the gig economy, many workers are not committed to a single employer for a long period of time.
Eventually, employee loyalty is a two-way street, and both the company and the employees have a role to play in maintaining a positive and productive working relationship.
How do mass layoffs impact loyalty?
Mass layoffs tend to have a great impact on employee loyalty.
They leave surviving employees feeling uncertain about the future of the company and their own job security. This can lead to feelings of distrust and frustration, causing employees to question their loyalty towards the company.
Mass layoffs often result in increased workloads for surviving employees, who may feel overburdened and undervalued. This can further erode their sense of loyalty and commitment to the company.
“To retain talent, organisations need to focus on providing individual skill-development opportunities, role mobility and active career-management support.”
Unmesh Pawar, CPO, Dentsu
Unmesh Pawar, CPO, Dentsu, says that the new generation of employees has a different perspective on work compared to previous generations. They view their job as just one aspect of their lives and not their identity.
The changing employee mindset means that they no longer see work as their sole identity. Pawar believes that the COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasised the importance of individualism and personal priorities. This shift in perspective has also led to a change in the employee-employer dynamic, where employees expect to be treated with sensitivity and respect.
Pawar suggests, “To retain talent, organisations need to focus on providing individual skill-development opportunities, role mobility and active career-management support. Organisations that prioritise right-sizing and creating internal job opportunities rather than solely hiring externally can save money and create a sense of growth and advancement for their employees. These are important factors for organisations to consider as they move forward and compete in the changing job market.”
“Employee loyalty is not solely determined by the company, but influenced by the culture and management style within the organisation”.
Gautam Srivastava, VP and head – HR, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts
Gautam Srivastava, VP and head – HR, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, says, “Employee loyalty is not solely determined by the company, but influenced by the culture and management style within the organisation”. According to him, “Managers play a crucial role in retaining employees, and it is important that they are trained and equipped to handle both new hires and tenured employees effectively”.
“The organisation’s investment in handling the employees should go beyond monetary compensation and include flexible working hours, a good work-life balance, and a supportive team culture,” adds Srivastava.
Keeping employees engaged and motivated is crucial to building employee loyalty. This can be achieved by providing them with challenging and meaningful work, opportunities to develop new skills, and exposure to different projects, locations and environments.
Managers should also have regular, open, and honest conversations with their employees to understand their career aspirations, personal goals, and any challenges they may be facing. This level of engagement and support can help employees feel valued and connected to the company, leading to increased loyalty.
“Loyalty from the employees’ perspective can also be motivated by their personal growth and career-development opportunities within the company.”
Tanaya Mishra, VP and head-HR, Endo
According to Tanaya Mishra, VP and head-HR, Endo, working loyally with the organisation to achieve the business’ / organisational goals is important because the company is investing both time and resources in the training and development of the employees. The expectation is that the employees will continue to deliver and contribute to the company’s goals.
However, if the employee decides to leave, it can impact the company’s objectives. From the organisational perspective, “businesses are not charities or NGOs; they are focused on achieving their goals and maintaining profitability, adds Mishra.
Some companies may offer incentives to retain employees, such as providing annual training or offering bonuses.
Mishra opines, “Loyalty from the employees’ perspective can also be motivated by their personal growth and career-development opportunities within the company. Ultimately, the idea is to work together to help the company progress from point A to point B, with the goal of achieving success for all parties involved.”
It is important to note that companies can take steps to rebuild employee loyalty after mass layoffs. This can include offering support and resources to help surviving employees adjust to the changes, being transparent about the company’s financial situation and future plans, and offering opportunities for professional growth and development.
Companies can also focus on creating a positive work environment that fosters a sense of community and a shared purpose among employees. This can include promoting open communication, recognising and rewarding employee contributions, and providing opportunities for collaboration and teamwork.
Ultimately, rebuilding employee loyalty after mass layoffs requires a commitment from the company to support and value its employees. By taking steps to address the concerns and needs of surviving employees, companies can help restore a sense of loyalty and commitment, ultimately benefiting the bottom line.
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