3 Easy Hacks to Create Loyalty And Commitment
To make leadership easy, your physical and mental health are very important. When you are mentally and physically healthy, research shows you are much more effective interacting with people, much more able to be positive with people and much more able to not feel challenged by people. I’ll talk more about the correlation between health and leadership performance later but for now let’s focus on the hacks to building loyalty and commitment.
Both loyalty and commitment are earned and in large part by reciprocation. To earn loyalty and commitment, we must first freely and consistently give it to get it. As a leader we are in a unique position to have the tools to build loyalty and commitment quickly and solidly.
Once upon a time I was the VP of a financial region with many branches located in various locations. I began that journey as a branch manager and learned some very valuable lessons through that experience. Often we think office employees have it easy and should be happy they are not out in the elements. That’s an interesting thought but it isn’t necessarily factual and doesn’t help us as a leader, unless our goal is to destroy loyalty, commitment and morale. Like all employees, if you are in a position of authority, you can tell them what to do but you cannot effectively demand loyalty or commitment. To achieve those rewards you must earn them. One hack I learned as a branch manager was giving them paid time off. Not scheduled time off but rather an unexpected gift or surprise.
Note: Not everyone can do this. In my position, I had the autonomy and was willing to do the work to ensure that the organization did not suffer at all by my actions.
When I had an employee whose performance was exceptional and consistently that way, I would surprise them occasionally. When we would have a day that was beginning as a slow day and it was one of the days of the week that was normally slow, I would look at the very deserving employee and ask, “Is there something you would like to be doing today if you weren’t here at work?” In the beginning they looked at me strangely, wondering where I was going with my line of questioning, but then answered haltingly, “Yes”, and then would tell me what it was they would rather be doing. I would hear things like, “work on my car” or “get my hair done”. This part was always so fun. I would look at them and say, “Ok, go”. Once they understood they were getting paid for the day, they would quickly disappear. I of course would pick up their duties for that day. It was always within the first 15 minutes of the day that I would do this, so they felt they were getting the whole day off as a reward.
To a person, the next day and going forward, they would perform even more amazingly than the professionalism that had earned their reward of time off in the first place. I remember one young lady, a cashier, she would come in the next day and no matter what (or how much) she was doing if the phone rang she would dive for it before letting me answer it. She was so appreciative I almost felt guilty. She also became a fiercely loyal employee and eventually a manager and a very successful person.
During our three years of working together, I may have given her a total of 10 days off. In trade for that time off, the company and me as her manager, came way out ahead because of her commitment, loyalty and superior performance. She loaned more, sold more and did more than you would expect any employee to do! What I discovered as a manager is that, people want to know that you care about them and when they do, their performance can be amazing. They want to know you see them an asset to the team and appreciate their individual effort and contribution.
Once I was promoted to a regional VP, I made it a point to build a relationship with every employee not just the branch managers. I would often take a few minutes and spend time with the individual employees just to see how they were doing. I would make it a point not to talk to the manager on that particular visit. I wanted the employee to say to themselves, “he drove here just to see me” and in many cases I did. From time to time when a branch’s performance was particularly exceptional, I would make a point to go and see them, usually toward the end of the day so not to disturb them or our customers. I would bring the branch’s employees together and say, “Guys, I just want to make sure all of you know how much I appreciate you and what you do for this company and this region as a team! Thank you so very much! You are doing a wonderful job!” That simple thank you always significantly boosted the branch’s performance even more. In fact, these little hacks worked so well that the region went from outstanding receivables of in the area of twenty million when I took the region to over one hundred eighty four million a year and a half later. The delinquency averaged less than 1.5% as a region. The accepted and desired company standard was 5.5%.
You may at this point be wondering where the health part comes into improving leadership. Well, I found that when you feel good and when you feel energized, you are much more willing and able to take on the additional work it takes to perform the time off hack. It’s a case of return on investment. If you are willing and able to make the initial investment, the dividends you get are more than worth it! Our health as a leader and employee health in general does have a major effect on what, when and how we perform our job!
Bottom line is, when people feel that commitment and loyalty from you as a leader, they will give it back to you in major ways. It’s the little things where they see you did something especially for them that quickly and effectively build loyalty and commitment. These are just a few of the many little hacks I used and still use to create relationship, loyalty and commitment and ensure everyone’s success! If you want to learn more visit Team-builder Leadership Institute. There are many articles, videos and my books available to provide tips and insight into making leading people easy, successful and fun! Share this and our other tips with your friends and make the workplace easier, more fun and more productive for everyone!