Today’s guest post is by Timothy Keiningham and Lerzan Aksoy, co-authors of “Why Loyalty Matters.” Keiningham is global chief strategy officer and executive vice president for business research firm Ipsos Loyalty. Aksoy is an associate professor of marketing at Fordham University.
There’s a good reason to develop your loyalty skills. Our loyalty as employees impacts our happiness at work. According to the Ipsos Loyalty Study, employees with the highest levels of loyalty to their job also characterized themselves as happiest.
Unfortunately, the same study found that only about 30 percent of us feel loyal to our employers, or feel that our employers have earned our loyalty.
So, what does it mean to be a loyal coworker? Here are five loyalty skills — and ways to improve your proficiency in each one.
- Support/assistance. Do you offer help to co-workers in the form of technical help, brainstorming, expertise and sharing contacts? Help a peer do a better job, struggle less, learn a new skill, impress the boss, or gain new respect with clients and coworkers.
- Giving time/attention. Do you take an interest in the workplace challenges and projects of your peers? Ask questions, listen well, and take the time to pay attention to the concerns of your coworkers. Show empathy, and demonstrate that you understand their issues and really “get” their point of view.
- Recognition/encouragement. Do you give sincere compliments to co-workers when they’ve done an excellent job on a task, or when they demonstrate superior skills, say, while leading a meeting or doing a presentation? Instead of being withholding or competitive, show fellow employees that you’re cheering them on.
- Self-sacrifice/commitment. Do you offer to stay late, do a hated task, or stand up for a co-worker’s unpopular viewpoint in a controversial workplace debate? Show colleagues that you are willing to put yourself out for them.
- Reliability/trust. Do you follow through on what you say you’ll do, and are you someone whom others can count on — to confide in, to lean on, or to be there in a pinch? Demonstrate to your co-workers that you are consistent and competent — and that you are willing to be the go-to person when required.
In an every-man-for-himself work environment, developing more loyalty toward fellow employees will give you a new sense of fulfillment and meaning in your job. When others view you as loyal, they will return these qualities and gestures in kind — and the quality of your workplace relationships will soar.
Image credit, gocosmonaut, iStock