Loyalty in the workplace is creating and maintaining a strong culture.
Last year while mentoring 7th Grade Students at the Jerome Middles School I had a discussion with the class about the importance of Integrity in the workplace. I likened integrity to Aesop’s Fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. Integrity and loyalty go hand in hand. Just like in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, the hare took a short cut then sat down and fell asleep. He wanted the easy route, the tortoise plodded along at a steady pace, followed the path and eventually passed the sleeping hare. We all know how the story ends; the tortoise wins the race. All businesses/organizations seek employees that have integrity and who will be loyal to the company.
I am reading a book by Jason Hanson, former CIA Agent titled “Agent of Influence”. Jason left the CIA and currently runs a multi-million-dollar company. He likens his experience and the things he learned about spycraft with running a business. Hanson explains that “Loyalty is a partnership between employees and the business owner”. Never forget that your employees are your greatest allies.
All businesses should have a mission statement and core values. To breed success, the employees must buy into the same core values.
Every employee should:
- Commit to the mission.
- Each employee trusts the CEO to steer the company forward.
- Be as transparent about the state of the business whenever possible.
- Keep staff briefed on new opportunities, changes, successes and, failures.
- Recognize and accept the strengths and weaknesses of each individual.
- Be sure to value each team member for their distinct contributions. Honor and respect every person’s strengths.
- Accept that weaknesses are human and not necessarily flaws that need to be fixed.
- By respecting and recognizing everyone’s contribution this allows employees to put their best foot forward which makes for a stronger team.
- Manager/CEO or President stand up for your team.
- If you have a team member who is not pulling their weight and after having tried to correct the issue, regardless of how much you like the individual, for the best of the team you may need to terminate that employee.
- Reward excellent behavior.
- Show gratitude, recognize when someone has gone above and beyond.
- If you want next-level loyalty, always make a point of acknowledging extraordinary behavior, even if it’s something simple.
- For example, I know of an employee with a local fast food restaurant, at the end of their shift a rush of people came into the store. This employee stayed an extra two hours assisting their co-worker. That is service above and beyond.
- Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
- Be the kind of leader who earned the respect of his team members by being ethical, pursuing excellence, being respectful and always showing integrity.
- A loyal employee will support your decisions – and you (Manager/CEO) – in public
- Even if they don’t think it is the right action, they will give it their best.
Loyal employees will work hard and give you their best regardless of how long they stay with you. Employee loyalty is a two-way process. If your company expects employee loyalty then the company needs to serve the employee with equally trustworthy means.
Loyalty encourages employees to do their best work and perform to their highest standards. Remember every member has a key role to play. Do not expect perfection. Honor the core values you established.
Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director
Hanson, Jason; 2019; Agent of Influence; HarperCollins Publishers, NY; pp174