By Harvey Deutschendorf, Author of The Other Kind of Smart
The notion of decreasing loyalty in the workplace has been steadily spiraling downward for decades.
In July of 2011, an article appeared in Psychology Today asking the question; “Is loyalty dead?” It wasn’t the only article that was wrestling with the same concerns that were running through business circles.
Today, people in their 20’s change jobs an average of every two years. The old contract of loyalty whereby the employee stayed with the organization in exchange for lifetime security is long gone. Despite the general level of loyalty to an employee is decreasing, there are still organizations which inspire high levels of loyalty. While a number of factors come into play in the loyalty equation, leadership is still a major one.
Below are 7 attributes that successful leaders practice and how it inspires loyalty within their team:
1. They Are Authentic
Nobody likes a phony...much less work for one. Younger generations are increasingly unwilling to accept direction from people they have little respect for. Authentic leaders can be counted on to say what they mean and do what they say. They are the same person to their staff, to those above them, their customers and their partners.
2. They Genuinely See Their Purpose as SERVING Those Under Them
Loyalty inspiring leaders sincerely see their part as role modeling, motivating and improving those that they lead. They see their team as more than a stepping stone on their up the corporate ladder. They find meaning and purpose in advancing and bringing out the best in those that they lead. Success to them is counted in the number of people that they've helped advance in the organization. In private conversations regarding their work, they love to include stories about those employees and their accomplishments.
3. Encourage and Support Those Under Them in Their Development
The best leaders are continuously looking for ways to support their staff to develop themselves, in the workplace and all other areas of their personal lives. They look for opportunities to challenge those under them and use their resources to provide training and opportunities to advance in the organization. If the type of opportunities are not available within the organization, inspiring managers will do all they can to try to set them up, even looking for help outside the organization to do so. Inspiring leaders are more afraid of their staff stagnating than they are of losing them to other organizations after they have spent time and resources developing them.
4. Support and Trust Their Team Members
Inspiring leaders push staff to go beyond their comfort zones and are there to support them. Having the confidence of their leader, team members are more apt to take on challenges and risk failure. When team members know that their leaders have their backs, they're more apt to take risks than those who fear the consequences of making mistakes.
5. Share Their Values and Ideas
Leaders who inspire those under them are open and transparent with their values and ideas; sharing them enthusiastically and openly at every opportunity. Their followers never have to guess where they're coming from. Inspiring leaders make it very clear to their team about what it takes to be successful in the organization and share where they see the organization is going. Their positive energy and belief in those they are working with is contagious and boosts the energy of those around them.
6. Jump In and Help Out Whenever They Can
Regardless of what position they hold, inspiring leaders take the opportunity to work alongside those that they lead every chance they get. Regardless of their rank, they never see any work that their team is doing as being "beneath them" to participate in. If emergencies strike, leaders who inspire are the first ones on the scene and offering to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. Inspiring leaders demonstrates they don’t expect anyone to do a task that they themselves are unwilling to do.
7. Take a Genuine Interest in the Lives of Their Staff
Talk to any inspiring leader and they will be able to share an amazing wealth of information about their team members, not only their work history but their families, hobbies and interests outside of work. They are well aware that they have lives outside of their work and there are a lot of outside factors that impact their work performance. Leaders who are there to support their team in all areas of their lives inspire much greater loyalty than those who show no interest, or concern in their personal lives. The sign of an inspiring leader is one who gets invited to major events that their employees are celebrating and is commonly included in group events that teams organize.
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Harvey Deutschendorf is an Emotional Intelligence expert, internationally published author and speaker. Emotional Intelligence transformed Harvey's life and he invites you to revitalize your business, team leaders and employees. To take the EI Quiz go to theotherkindofsmart.com. His book The Other Kind Of Smart, Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence for Greater Personal Effectiveness and Success has been translated into four languages. You can follow him on Twitter @theeiguy.