Want Loyal Employees? You Reap What You Sow

By Debbie Eckart on April 23, 2018

There is an expectation in the workforce that employees should be company-focused and loyal. But unfortunately, employers aren’t held to the same standard, and some companies aren’t employee-focused at all. If your company is seeing high rates of turnover, it might be time to stop asking why employees are disloyal - and start asking how your company is treating its employees. Because when it comes to employee loyalty, you reap what you sow.

Evaluate Your Culture

Improving employee loyalty starts with figuring out what your company might be doing wrong. In today’s hectic and competitive construction market, it’s easy to get swept up in the amount of work that needs to be done. Everyone is rushing to meet deadlines, win projects, and get the job done. But in the process, some companies treat their employees as commodities rather than human beings. Most employers know how important it is to attract candidates during the hiring process, but the attraction shouldn’t end once you get them on board. Is your company wooing top talent and then dropping them into a project and forgetting about them? No one wants to feel like they’re part of an assembly line, so make sure you’re still attracting your employees even after they come on board. Don’t treat them like numbers; treat them like family.

Treat Them Like Family

Don’t let your company feel like a “big business” to your workers - a more independent, employee-centric culture is better for long-term retention. The good news is, treating your employees well and making them feel good isn’t going to break your budget. There are many ways to connect that are inexpensive, or even free! Reaching out personally is one of the most important, whether you’re calling a field employee to check in or stopping by an office-based employee’s desk to let them know you value them. Personalized attention goes a long way toward developing employee loyalty. Include their families in company parties and events, send out cards to commemorate birthdays and other big life events, and make sure you provide good family insurance coverage and vacation days. Employees whose families love their company are much less likely to make a change. Make sure that you know your employees’ career plans: sit down with them at regular intervals to touch base and figure out how your company can help them achieve their goals. This lets them know that you see them as a long-term investment and you are excited about their future with your company.

Don’t Forget About the Field

It’s easy for company leaders to connect with office-based workers, but it’s just as important for them to reach out to field-based employees. Too many field workers report that they haven’t spoken to executive-level managers since the hiring process was complete. So when new opportunities come along, those workers are only too happy to move along because they don’t feel connected to the company they work for. One of the simplest ways to reduce high rates of turnover in the field? Just make a phone call. Take the time to call your field employees and ask how they’re doing. Ask how you can support them, and tell them how much you appreciate their hard work. This simple act can go a long way, and can even help with employee retention.

Turnover is an expensive problem for construction companies, in more ways than one. The financial cost of replacing an employee can be up to 100% of that employee’s annual salary, but your team’s productivity and morale can also suffer during times of turnover. And on top of that, your company’s reputation can take a hit if you’re constantly trying to replace employees. The easiest and cheapest thing for you to do is take stock of whether your company culture demonstrates loyalty to your employees, and if not, find ways to show your employees you care. If you’re loyal to them, chances are, they’ll be loyal to you.

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Debbie Eckart

Debbie Eckart

Executive Vice President

Debbie Eckart began her career at Kimmel & Associates in 1997, and has spent 15 years cultivating relationships with her clients in the commercial and industrial construction markets throughout the Southeast.