Should Loyalty Matter?

Should loyalty matter? Do you have a favorite grocery store, restaurant or service station?  Do you have certain leaders that you will follow? Why are they your favorites? For me, I do have many of those items that I am loyal to for various reasons, but the common theme is relationships. When I look at each and everyone of them, I see the people. When I think of going to the Basha’s grocery 0r Starbucks – I think of the cashier that I hope I get into her lane. Why, because for those brief moments each time, we have built up a relationship.

Take those brief moments and apply that to your work relationship. That place you spend at least 40 hours a week at. Importance on relationships get magnifiedgreatly. Successful organizations are built on relationships. Leadership is all about relationships. Loyalty becomes a critical subject to leaders. I have had the pleasure of working in some organizations that have really embraced relationship and loyalty. Both ways – up and down the organization heirarchy. In that situation, going to work everyday was a joy. Before you knew it, it was after 5pm and a call from home would remind you that the workday was over.

On the other hand, when going to work is difficult or seems like an endless source of frustration, you don’t have to look to fall to see the reason why. How many reports that have been produced that point to the majority of employee’s leave their current roles due to the manager that they work for. When it comes to that point – then the relationship is not good. Going back the Starbucks example, I was going to one for a really long time, because of the people. Something changed, the people were not open to building a relationship and rude for the most part.. I took my business to a different Starbucks. I am still loyal to Starbucks, but just not that store. Within work, when you have to leave that should be the most telling example.

I wonder if the management teams, really look at the number of employees that are willing to leave their teams and take on different jobs? Self-examination is a very critical piece to learning and growing. For those organizations that are losing people, they probably are not really looking into the whys. Losing good trained people is a shame. I happened to join a new organization and they were reviewing their turnover. First step, but it went downhill from there. Many of the managers, just rationalized the turnover as bad employees. Not being able to sit back and listen, I asked a couple of questions.

  • What was the performance of the employees last year, year before and so on. Get trending…
  • When were there changes to the overall organization management team? If any…
  • Are there any organization health data?

Within a couple of sessions, the management team was able to really do a better job of self-examination. Plans were put in place.. Training was delivered to the management team.. Organization got healthier.

Relationships matter, so does loyalty.

  • greg

    I completely agree SB – I guess the cynic in me wants to ask why relationships aren’t more valued? Does it boil down to a situation where some level of leadership/management looks at individuals as numbers and or payroll, and that attitude permeates down to the first line managers?

  • @Greg – Maybe. When it comes to certain levels of leadership/management, they are somewhat disconnected to each individual. They may not have a relationship with everyone, but they better have relationships with those that they do come in contact with. Good example: When a team presents to senior management on a project and there is some lively discussion. Some difference of opinions, but the senior folks, look right at the subject matter expert for their opinion. At the end, there is job well done and thanks for the update.
    Bad example: Same team, goes to same level of senior management but different managers in place. Same material, same level of detail, same level of knowledge.. Completely difference results. Team leaves feeling that they have been beaten down, made to feel they don’t know their subject and silence on leaving.

    Every moment that a leader/manager with people needs to be done with every attempt to demonstrate true leadership. Each time, this does not happen there is definitely a loss of loyalty to the organization.