Do employee incentive programs really increase productivity?

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In my opinion, the thing which will increase productivity is having each person in your team perceive they are valued. Feeling valued may be the key to employee loyalty. I’d avoid anything that creates successful and a loser.

Employee loyalty is synonymous with achieving a balance that brings feelings of connection plus a commitment to create. Ultimately, loyal employees may bring some BIG benefits. Loyal employees promote customer satisfaction–a critical component running a business.

Satisfied customers (often known as repeat business) are less price-sensitive and generate referrals for home based business. And, loyal employees who have a tendency to stay put, might help keep recruiting and training costs to a minor. (However, don’t confuse longevity with loyalty. Because someone will there be long-term doesn’t imply that she actually is loyal.)

The next 13 tips are what you ought to find out about employee loyalty:

1. Set an example. Show your employees that you take work seriously. For anyone who is out shopping or busy making plans for the weekend, your employees will observe suit.

2. Create clear boundaries. Your employees can have many friends, but only 1 employer. Yes, you intend to be friendly however, not at the expense of establishing your specific role and position. Most employees will be delighted to possess a boss which can be depended upon to create difficult decisions, call the shots and resolve awkward or burdensome problems–tasks they might never present to a pal or co-worker.

3. Outline each employees’ sphere of influence. Each employee ought to be clear about where his/her own domain starts and stops. This type of definition fosters a feeling of pride while preventing boundary overstepping and turf wars between employees.

4. Show your employees that you will be loyal to them. Never belittle or criticize a worker in public areas. Avoid threats or any action that may give an employee grounds to question your commitment to him/her. Instead, carefully present your criticisms and see "mistakes" as opportunities for learning.

5. Give your employees something to be pleased with. Strive to make your company the best it could be. Whether you will be the CEO of a big corporation, a supervisor in a governmental organization, or owning a mom-and-pop shop, you want your product and service to shine in order that everyone involved includes a sense of pride and accomplishment.

6. Do good deeds. Have an outreach plan that provides both you as well as your employees an opportunity to interact with, and present back to, the bigger community in a positive way.

7. Reward your employees. Money cannot buy loyalty but money does serve as a metaphor–telling your employees just how much you value them. Fair wages, appropriate raises and an intermittent unexpected treat can go quite a distance in building loyal employees.

8. Cultivate peak performance. Provide your employees with training and development opportunities in order to learn and grow. And, because they develop, challenge them to create and meet high expectations.

9. Foster a team mentality. Encourage your employees to communicate their ideas and invite them to influence company practices and policies. Likewise, share your own vision for future years and your thoughts concerning how you will all make it happen together.

10. Recognize and respond. Everyone appreciates positive feedback. And, once it becomes clear that you will be willing and in a position to provide it, most employees will go the excess mile to get it.

11. Build solid relationships. Find common ground, share life experiences, prove your trustworthiness, and become patient as strong relationships blossom as time passes.

12. The Platinum Rule. There is absolutely no blueprint for fostering employee loyalty. As you start your business, understand that each employee should be seen as a person – what works in some instances provides disaster in another. Your investment golden rule–don’t treat your employees, as you wish to be treated. Instead, discover what all of them needs and wants and proceed knowing that.

13. Be yourself. Find your own management style. Somewhere within surrogate mother, who’s more caretaker then boss and the Leona Helmsley stereotype, who responds to employees with contempt and ridicule, each folks can find our very own happy medium.