LOYALTY? IT’S EARNED NOT GIVEN
I often say that I can’t give out everything for free. This means that in life, there are certain things that definitely ought to be earned, such as respect and loyalty.
To influence the behaviour, engagement, and loyalty of other people, your mindset and resulting behaviours need to change. Many managers get their jobs because they’re technically skilled, but they may not have learned how to model, teach, and reinforce the behaviours needed to earn the loyalty of others. Employee loyalty comes from genuinely caring about their thoughts and ideas, sincerely wanting to understand their goals, then helping employees achieve them. It comes from a willingness to appreciate employees’ contributions.
Just as true loyalty comes from feelings deep inside you, the power to inspire loyalty comes from deep inside as well. It’s fundamentally a question of the kind of person you choose to be.
True loyalty is the natural consequence of principled behaviour. Principled behaviour awakens loyalty much more effectively than reward points or promotions. Through our research, we’ve found that customers and employees are loyal to organizations and people who show empathy for them, take responsibility for their work and act generously. These are not just techniques—they are behaviours that can be learned and adopted by anyone.
You might be saying to yourself, “I am already empathic. I am responsible, and I am generous.” Or you may feel committed to developing these behaviours in yourself. As a result, you can be a model for the members of your team, and they benefit from that more than anything. Of course, none of us is as good at living by these principles as we could be, and few of us consciously focus on them deliberately, making them the foundation of our lives. So your first challenge is to do that—to become even more the empathic, responsible, generous person you can be. Most of us have a ways to go. But that shouldn’t discourage us. We can be more deeply good. We can listen better. We can make others feel more valued. And as we do so, we become the example, the model of what it takes to earn the loyalty of others.
Even if you have no control over hiring, remember that you still have control over the most important ingredient to earning loyalty: your own behaviour and the example you set for other people or even your team at work.