Creating loyalty on your team is essential for the long-term success of any organization. Not only will it decrease turnover, but it will boost productivity, increase efficiency, and provide a much more stable and fun work environment for everyone. The hardest part about loyalty is, it’s hard to measure, as it’s intangible. Not to worry, because here are five steps to get started on creating loyalty on your team:
Give credit where credit is due. As a leader, you need to make sure you're crediting the right team members for their hard work. It may sound like an obvious, easy task, but it's not one you should discount. Sachin H. Jain, chief medical information and innovation officer at Merck, writes in the Harvard Business Review about what happens when leaders give credit accurately and inaccurately. "If a company reliably assigns credit to deserving individuals and teams, the resulting belief that the system is fair and will honestly reward contributions will encourage employees to give their utmost," Jain writes. "On the other hand, if credit is regularly misaligned, a sort of organizational cancer emerges, and individuals and teams won't feel the drive to deliver their best because they won't trust anyone will recognize it if they do."
Talk about their personal and career goals. Hands down, your team will feel seen, heard, and appreciated when you take the time to listen to their goals. One on One meetings are a great tool to provide the atmosphere to foster this conversation. When you put the effort in to get to know a bit more about how your team is doing and what they are interested in, it will build a much better loyalty among the team.
Be their advocate and show you care. As a leader, you have the ability to inspire your team and build a culture that gets them excited and fully engaged in their work. Take a genuine interest in what they do outside of work. And really listen--the simple act of reflecting back to employees what they are trying to tell you confirms to them that you really are listening and that you really do care.
Be transparent and build trust into everything. Trust is the foundation that every leader must establish with employees to earn their respect and loyalty. Be a person of your word -- be dependable, honest, and support your people through good times and bad. If you say you're going to do something, do it, and don't try to slip out of your commitments.
Make giving them feedback a regular part of your day. When you get into this habit, the results are an agile and lightweight way of keeping up with what’s really going on on your team. You’ll get insights quicker, be able to solve problems faster, which will produce loyalty. Let’s rewrite the narrative that feedback is unnerving and fear provoking. When done in the right way and with the right intentions, feedback can lead to outstanding results.