Updated: Oct 24, 2018
With the premise that no worker-boss relationship can be truly equal, Forbes contributor Meghan M. Biro offers five behaviors leaders can display to inspire loyalty from their important deputies. Bottom line: loyalty and engagement in the workplace require a near-equal exchange of information about the business’s goals and challenges and a shared sense of the value of work, Biro says.
1) Tell the truth. Not everyone is a star. Pick out those with leadership or other valued talent potential and nurture them. This will come back to the business as these individuals, in turn, nurture other workers.
2) Communicate roles and responsibilities. Provide a path to success not only for those with leadership promise but for all employees. Sometimes this will mean difficult changes, but remember the most important skill of a leader: never surprise an employee with bad news. Have a development plan for all, and a get-well plan for those whose performance lags. Make sure everyone knows the plan.
3) Create a workplace culture that values real people relationships. For many employees, workgroup relationships and relationships between managers and workers drive engagement and loyalty more effectively than foosball machines, logo T-shirts, and Thirsty Thursday gatherings.
4) Be fair and open. This does not mean treat everyone equally – it means have transparent processes for managing and leading. Employees are more likely to respond positively to change when the process used to manage change is fair.
5) Model the behaviors you seek. Just as the headmaster at the high school did, accept your responsibility as a leader and act with engagement, commitment and responsibility. Do this every day.