At a very young age, most of us learn that everyone is different. Whether we were told by our parents or picked it up ourselves, we all learned this valuable lesson. Yet, surprisingly, many team leaders forget this when working with their members. In doing this, they end up treating individual members as mere employees grouped into one category. With this, team leaders only make matters worse for themselves and their team. Therefore, in order to change this habit, a leader must learn to encourage loyalty among every individual on their team. Moreover, it’s important to remember the very idea that every individual is different and therefore, must be treated differently.
Here are five helpful tips on how to encourage team loyalty:
- Give Credit
- Team members who are treated as mere employees on an continuous basis, tend to feel like they are being used a cogs in a machine. For example, if a member comes up with a great idea or suggestion for an upcoming project leaders who tend to treat their members as one and the same, will often forget to give this individual credit. Forgetting to give credit where credit is due often creates severe inefficiency among teams causing team members to feel as though they are not valued and to refrain from speaking up in the future. With this, your company could be missing out on lots of idea with great potential for success.
- Talk About Their Future Goals
- This one is extremely important, if not the most important, for developing loyalty among every member on your team. Every person has future goals and dreams and it’s essential to help your team members towards them by frequently talking with them individually. Demonstrate that you’re invested in their professional development and future by scheduling ten to fifteen minute check-ins with every member. In doing this, it will go without saying that you care about your team members as individual people and not just about what they can do for you right now.
- Advocate for Them
- Your team members should know that while they work for you, you also work for them. When talking with each of them during weekly check-ins, notice if you hear or see them struggling with something. If you do, do your best to advocate for their needs in whatever way(s) you can in order to lessen their struggle. In standing up for each member of your team, they’ll be motivated to work harder and their loyalty to you as a leader will grow.
- Create Transparent Communication
- Among all kinds of teams, the importance of developing two-way transparent communication often goes unnoticed. Yet, the fact of the matter is that when a leader continually updates and informs their members, each individual naturally feels more responsible for the company’s success. When team members receive transparent communication from their leader, it goes without saying that each of them are important to the overall success of both the team and the company. At the same time, when team members feel as though they can be entirely transparent when communicating with their leader, they develop an important sense of comfort. This comfort allows them to put their best work forward and to immediately communicate with you when something isn’t working, because they truly want to fix it.
- Spend Time
- Many organizations make the mistake of thinking that since they can’t be friends with their employees, they cannot spend time with them outside of work (or even talk about things outside of work for that matter). Yet, while it’s true that a leader may not be able to develop close friendships with their team members, they can still be a trusted ally. With this, it’s important to get to know each of your team members on both a personal and professional level. Try inviting your team to after-work events, treating them to coffee, or suggesting various kinds of office field trips. In doing this, you’ll be creating closer relationships between you and your members, allowing them to be all the more loyal.