A key to building loyalty is encouraging our supervisors and managers to appreciate the differences presented by employees. Look, let’s talk plain facts. What is the number one reason employees leave their jobs? Answer: Their bosses. I’m not sure the converse is true – that the number one reason employees stay with their companies is because of their relationship with their bosses – but it must play a huge role.
We human beings are creatures of habit. Our brains are comforted by sameness, routine, and habits. However, our workplaces are more diverse now than ever; the chance of supervisors and managers having entire staffs with the same thoughts, opinions, beliefs, emotions, work ethics, strengths and weaknesses is between extremely slim to none.
Back in the 1980’s, the then Dean of the Business College taught one of my management classes. I do not remember his name, but I do recall an important lesson he taught. He asked our class if, in our future careers, when we were promoted, would we be more inclined to take people along with us who were just like us or different. The majority of the class stated that they wanted people who thought and felt similarly to the way they did; it would be easier and would cause less conflict.
The Dean then asked more questions: “With all of you being so similar, will you understand the wants and desires of a more differentiated employee base? A more diverse customer base? A more varied supplier base?” He stated with complete confidence that our workplaces would become more diverse. He encouraged us to alter our thinking. If we wanted to have a much broader view on how to approach problems, deal with people, anticipate market trends, and increase overall loyalty, we would want to take a very diverse group with us as we moved up the corporate ladder.
Managers and supervisors today need to move away from the ease of working with people who think, feel and act like them. They need to develop positive relationships with those who differ from them; those relationships will help build loyalty. Our management teams should be learning how to appreciate the differences our employees possess and understand how to turn those differences into well-utilized strengths which can benefit our organizations. When we do better in this arena, we will be fostering more loyalty.
If this topic is of interest to you, join me at my free It Takes Two to Tango When It Comes to Employee Loyalty Webinar on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 1:30 PM.
Space is limited. Click to register today… https://employeeloyalty.eventbrite.com.