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Earning loyalty from your team

Diane Hall


It was reported that a company boss gave his employees Monday (12th April) off work, so that they could all visit the gym or go for a pint as some restrictions lifted. This move won him a radio interview, and all through the programme he was cited as ‘the best boss on Earth’.

He felt it was important to give something back to his team and an extra day off was his way of thanking them for their hard work through the dark winter months.

It’s irrelevant what other people think of that particular company boss, it’s only important what his own workers think of him. Admittedly, an extra day off is a great way for your team to like you, but it has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line and not every firm could afford to do this.

Thankfully, there are other ways that you can help to instil loyalty within your team that are not as overt or costly.

View them as a person

Of course your workers are people! Before you think this is a daft tip, think about how many workers complain about feeling like a number within their workplace, particularly in larger companies.

Every single person in your workforce is integral to the overall progress and aims of the business, or they would have been let go. Whilst individual departments and teams may play more/less of a role than others towards a company’s targets, it’s important that each one is treated equally.

Line managers should know about their team’s individual skills, quirks and circumstances as well as their combined prowess. If one person isn’t committing as much as they usually do, use the carrot, not the stick, to find out why. Few people go to work to do a really poor, half-arsed job.

Spend time with your team, find out how best you can support them so that they’re even better/more productive during working hours. Learn about their individual goals and preferences—how do they see their role progressing? Do they always get credit where credit is due? What’s hampering them and what can be done about it? How can you best manage their expectations during working hours?

If employees feel listened to and valued, they will feel much more loyal.

Give them a bit of rope

The days are over where every job was a job for life. Nowadays, people flit between roles (and even entire careers) after a few years because boredom sets in, or because they feel they’d receive a better deal elsewhere.

To help your employees retain passion for their job, give them some input into it. Ask for their ideas on what could be improved. Give them some autonomy over their day-to-day routine. If you micro-manage them and stifle their every movement you won’t see them for dust.

Develop them

Some bosses don’t like to think about developing their people beyond their roles in case said employees take their newfound skills and knowledge to a competitor. This is a blinkered view. As already mentioned, people don’t tend to move on if they feel valued, adequately paid and they enjoy what they do. That you help them to further develop their skills will do more for their relationship with you than any they could have with your rivals.

Think about how such training will benefit your company if that person was to progress internally. Investing your time and profits into your workforce will help them to feel that they’re part of the future of the company, and people worthy of investment; both of which help to instil loyalty.

Employ encouragers as line managers, not destroyers

Statistics show that 75% of people leaving jobs do so because they can’t get along with their boss. Whilst the manager of a small firm can also be the day-to-day operations manager heading up the small team, most of the time, line managers are people put in place to oversee teams.

It’s common for someone to be promoted within a team to line manager, due to their length of service and the fact they know the job inside and out. However, it’s also common in such circumstances that the person promoted has none of the necessary skills to effectively manage a team. Instead, it is destroyed from the inside.

To be a good manager you need to have plenty of soft skills and to be a people person. It’s not an admin job or operational role, being a good line manager involves motivating others and getting the best out of them; being good at resolving disputes; removing any barriers preventing team members from becoming the very best versions of themselves. It involves setting an example and working towards the bigger picture as well as achieving small wins.

It costs businesses a lot of time and money when they lose good people. It’s much easier and cheaper to encourage your employees to stay with you. It doesn’t have to mean giving your team an extra day off (but don’t let me stop you, if this is your plan—it will be very well received!)—there are plenty of ways to create loyalty that can be achieved with a change of attitude and a forward-thinking mindset.

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