Loyalty In Business
Demonstrating commitment to others
To practice Loyalty I will:
- support my family, friends, and peers
- stand by others in hard times
- point out the good in others
- honor my country
- help those who are bullied or abused
“Loyalty Requires Consistency”
– Jill Tomey
When I taught an upper-level Business class at a local college, I started the first class by having the students create a rubric for evaluating work being done by a business for them. I used 5 categories and described them in terms of their customer Loyalty to the business: Excellent (you are willing to pay more for their work and bring them other customers), Very Good (impressed with their work and will hire them again), Good (satisfied but not impressed and you would be open to using other businesses in the future) Fair (won’t hire them again) and Poor (won’t pay for the work they completed). They were quite demanding and brutal with descriptions of what constituted work at each of these levels. A single spelling error on otherwise perfect work rated at most a Fair! I worked with them to soften their expectations to be more realistic, but it was still a tough rubric. The excellence category always stayed blank. In the end, they would realize that Excellence is not something that can be evaluated on a single piece of work but needed the consistency of high achievement over time. Could the same be said of Loyalty? Of your Character in general?
When we were done with the rubric and all in agreement, I would reveal that they just created the rubric I would use to evaluate their project work in the class. Why they did not see the relationship to academic grading scales from the beginning is beyond me. Work that previously may have been an A (Excellent) was now simply Good or Very Good. This is when many students would get up to leave and drop the class. To keep them from dropping (to keep their Loyalty), I had to promise to coach their work from where they were performing now to True Excellence. Their work now had to inspire my Loyalty according to the rubric.
The class was a tough class to get through, but I kept my word and coached their work. It was gratifying to see their improvement through the semester. I also heard kudos from the professors who visited and evaluated their outside co-op experiences. Many students pointed to this class as foundational to their success. The biggest salute to their Loyalty was not sharing the grading rubric exercise with future students. They understood the importance for each class to work through that exercise without sandbagging it to create a much easier rubric.
Loyalty to anything or anyone cannot be achieved in a single event, transaction, or the start of a relationship. Loyalty must be earned and modeled. Any company that expects Loyalty but does not demonstrate it first, will not achieve it for long. Creating mutually loyal relationships takes intention and consistency.
This month, how will you build Loyalty?