Recently I’ve heard from a lot of people who I have worked with in the past, and all of them have made a point of telling me that if I ever decided to run a training function again, that I should call them up so we can work together again. After a few of these comments I realized that I have earned their loyalty. How did I do that?
Managers should be trying to earn employee loyalty because in the process they are creating a great working relationship. Building trust, empowering, being a coach or even a sounding board are ways we show our employees that they matter. It goes back to Servant Leadership, and realizing your purpose is to enable your team to perform their best. It is not about you and your needs, it is about them and their needs!
Looking back over the past 30+ years I’ve been working, only a handful of managers earned my loyalty. I would work for them again in a heartbeat! All the others would have to pay me double to put up with them again, and some of them couldn’t come up with an employment package to ever entice me back.
Loyalty on the job is often expressed with a desire to outperform the requirements of the job. It is a willingness to be fully engaged, and the real test often comes if one leaves, the other soon follows to the new company.
If there is a negative to building loyalty with your staff, it is when you have to leave. Especially if where you are headed there is no room to take people with you. I experienced this when I became a consultant. I watched my team struggle with my replacement, and there was nothing I could do. When the company went out of business a year later, I had to watch all of them lose their jobs. All I could do was to act as reference, and help them find work. I guess that too was earning loyalty.