Can you teach loyalty? Should employees be, not necessarily wedded to their employers (that´s so last century), but at the very least willing to give their companies the collective benefit of the doubt? I´m asking the question because it used to be that loyalty was a given. That´s no longer true, of course, but companies can certainly still inspire loyalty even if it´s short-lived meaning that employees can enjoy bursts of motivation. In fact, when it comes down to it, that´s probably what happens these days and as a manager you´ll probably take it, right? It´s better than nothing.
I must sound a little cynical, but it´s the truth, right? So what can you do to inspire bursts of loyalty, which then hopefully find their way toward big-time motivated employees? Well, I´ve been posting a lot about leadership and the importance of growing it yourself in your own backyard so to speak. With author Bob Prosen´s help ("Kiss Theory Good Bye: Five Proven Ways to Get Extraordinary Results in Any Company”) you should be getting some good ideas about how leadership itself, good, solid leadership can not only increase your company´s bottom line but inspire people to do great work, too.
I think one of the best ways to inspire loyalty internally is to make sure you´re working toward it on the outside. That is, focus on your customers. Prosen calls customer loyalty "the win that keeps on giving." If you can take some of the same processes you use to win over your customers and apply them to your own people I think you might see some benefits. Prosen writes, "It´s not difficult to strengthen loyalty. It only takes perseverance, attention to detail, and a good road map.
For example, customers really like it when their problems are taken care of quickly. "Every point of customer contact is an opportunity to either strengthen or erode loyalty. When companies handle service issues quickly, accurately, and with minimal hand-offs, and then give special attention to follow-up, they build loyalty through positive experiences," he adds. What if you could put his strategies for building customer loyalty and apply it in your own house?
Next time: more about loyalty as an inside job