Building Employee Loyalty Through Strengths-Based Management
By Baili Bigham
Although it’s no surprise, countless studies prove that offering workers a positive experience significantly increases employee loyalty and retention. And the key to keeping your rockstar talent is giving them opportunities to grow and develop their skills, not just professionally, but personally as well.
Creating the space and offering the right resources for people to discover their natural talents allows those at the top to help develop leadership strengths on every level. But companies often fall short of actually utilizing these abilities because they aren’t taking the time to discern the true talents of their employees.
When this is the case, an employee’s sense of satisfaction at work can take a steep decline. It turns out that people are deeply encouraged by the strengths they already possess and use them to create real, positive change. Adopting a practice of strengths-based management not only increases employee loyalty but will benefit your company and each of your people for years to come.
Inspiring performance through strengths-based management
Training managers to seek out the unique strengths of their employees and foster an environment that builds on those attributes is vital to maintaining an agile business and thriving culture. When employees are gaining mastery in specific skills and given the space to perform at their peak, they are more intrinsically motivated to do their best work and consistently perform at a high level.
Intrinsic motivation is the sustainable way to drive employee performance and is a core theme in our Best-Self Management methodology. It’s all about incentive and deriving pleasure from the activity itself (e.g., a genuine interest in a project or strategic initiative) rather than because of any external benefits that might be obtained, according to the American Psychological Association.
A study by Gallup shows the benefits of companies implementing strengths-based management practices and how crucial the manager’s role is in unlocking potential:
“Managers who play to their own strengths enhance their abilities and establish a unique management style. This practice fosters an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their strengths and limitations: When managers are authentic and open about their own strengths, employees follow suit.”
By paying close attention to your employees’ abilities, you can help them create job descriptions that align their passions with the company’s why. This naturally results in a highly engaged, productive, and loyal workforce.
Loyalty beyond the employee lifecycle
Even when leaders succeed in creating cultures that empower psychological safety and support individual growth and development, occasionally employees will still leave. But when they do, they will take their loyalty and become brand ambassadors, touting the power of your company for years to come–both to prospective candidates and customers.
This long view is valuable in an environment where employees increasingly job hop. It is inevitable that once we invite employees to bring their whole selves to work and encourage them to explore their passions, some employees will discover that their path is no longer with the company. This doesn’t mean the manager’s support or employee development was wasted.
By establishing a memorable employee experience, you will create a community of alumni that support your business no matter where their passions take them.
Supporting your people on their individual paths of growth and mastery will help them to be passionately motivated in their role because they’re actively growing into their best selves, both in and outside of the workplace. These skills are applicable, not just to the job, but to their whole life. By creating a positive experience, you’ll gain unwavering employee loyalty that can bring rewards for years to come.
Baili Bigham is a content manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, objectives (OKR) tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360°reviews. Shane has spent his career studying organizational & human development, which now translates into the high performing 15Five culture. This article was reprinted with permission and originally appeared on the 15Five blog here.
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