Why is loyalty in business a thing of the past? From our jobs to co-workers, to our relationships we continue to lose loyalty in business.
I work with a marketing company that uses sub-contractors to execute against marketing plans and strategies for their clients. The subcontractors are a mix of smaller marketing agencies (including mine), freelancers, and independent contractors.
As I was speaking to the owner, he told me that he was building multiple creative teams, multiple digital marketing teams, and multiple projects managers. The main reasons for multiple teams were to cut cost. Going to the open market is fine, but what about relationships, what about long-term stability. I get it, the cost is important and profit is why we are in business, building a business is hard work and every penny counts.
Here is the part that I could not understand. The strategic marketing agency had a makeshift marketing team in place including a top-notch graphic designer, one of the best copywriters I have ever met, and me, a digital marketing wizard (tooting my own horn).
This team was working on a couple accounts and getting fantastic results. Things were happening. The bandwidth was about half full and the rate of new customers coming into the strategic agency was nada, zilch. So why create another on-demand marketing team that needs to learn the systems, how things work, and get familiar with tools needed to get the job done? Where is the loyalty to the dudes doing the job?
What Does Loyalty Mean In Business?
Loyalty by definition is the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations.
Before we go any further, let’s get on the same page. I know the business environment has changed. It is uncommon for a person to stay in a job for more than 5 years. When I was out of graduate school, I was always looking for a better job and moving states to find them.
Jump ahead nearly 10 years and have owned a small business, it is not always about the product or service. It is about the people that you work with. The relationships we build in business are important and we should be loyal to the people we met and work with. Especially, the people that help us.
If you are looking for a new job to get ahead, we are not talking about you. However, if you jump ship and forget about the relationships you built in the past, keep reading. Be loyal to the good people that you met in the business. I know it is hard, but it is worthwhile.
5 Reasons Why Loyalty in Business is Important
Why is loyalty in business so important? Why should we care if we burn a bridge or two? Let’s look at 5 reasons why loyalty in business is important.
Build Trust With Your Customers
Our business is about our customers, so let’s start here. What is the easiest form of revenue? That’s right, your current customer base. We want our customer to be loyal to our brand, so we should be loyal to our customers as well.
Nordstrom, Apple, Netflix, Home Depot, and Vanguard are just a few brands that have a loyal customer base. Why? They care about every customer that walks through their door. Now, we can argue if this statement is true or not because we all have had bad experiences. The bottom line is a this, loyalty in business goes a long way with your customer base.
Build A Team That Will Win
Your business is only as good as the weakest link on your team. If your business is consistently turning over employees, you are going to always be behind the 8-ball. When you find a great team, you need to do everything in your power to keep them together. This means you might pay more or decrease your margin. You might even have to take home less money for a month or two.
However, if you look at the opposite side of the coin, you could lose your best employees and drive up your training cost on that next employee.
I also want to make it clear that I understand you cannot always increase pay to keep people around. However, you can give them a new assignment, mentor them, and help them achieve their goals. Sometimes, this treatment goes further than money.
Build a team to win. Being loyal and taking care of your team will increase your revenue over and over.
As a marketing manager, I want people that I can count on to get the work done. Being loyal in business helps establish a reliable team of individuals that are going to get it done for you.
Servant leadership was coined in the 1970’s by Robert K. Greenleaf. A servant-leader is a leader that looks to serve his people first. A servant leader focuses on the growth and well-being of the people. The saying goes, “leaders eat last.”
Trust me, when the leader eats first, the people notice. Loyalty to your people starts with servant-leadership and continues to grow as you build real, long-lasting relationships.
Show That You Care
People want to have a sense of belonging to something bigger than them. If you are building your business on loyalty, your people are going to feel this bigger calling. Building loyalty into your business does not have to be about material things, show your people that you can by letting them take ownership of an idea. Once we take ownership of an idea it is hard to let it go.
Loyalty In Business Conclusion
After talking to the owner of the strategic marketing agency, it was obvious that he did not want to build a team of dependents or W2 employees. So, if he could have multiple sub-contracting teams, he could fulfill the needs of his business.
The problem is simple, by bringing in a new team or the thought of a new team, the current team starts looking for new opportunities. Ultimately, this leads the people you rely on to leave, just like the top notch graphic designer. Now the client is asking about the stability of the team. Putting revenue at risk.
Build your business around people you want to work with, people you can depend on, and build loyalty into your business. My opinion is this. We are better together than we are as an individual. Don’t let higher margins get in the way of growth. If you do it right, with a loyal group, you will not be concerned about your margins. There is enough margin for everyone to eat.
Let’s bring loyalty back to business. At least those that deserve it. It is time to start acting like a true leader.