Five traits of a loyal team member

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Five traits of a loyal team member

In the past, I’ve spoken and written about trust, as well as the actions that breed trust. One day as a few of us on staff were discussing the definition of loyalty, I was reminded of that message. The answers I related to best were straight from our front line team members. 

“To be trusted, to do the right thing no matter the cost…sticking together through the good and bad…not giving up, staying committed…always being there…they’ve got your back…someone in the trenches with you.”

All of these tell me that trust is a feeling, but loyalty is behavior. I asked the group, “How do you build loyalty within a team?” 

Here were the top five answers:

  1. Do what you say you will do. One of our staff said, “We all agree to be at work on time. It affects us all when one person is late.” Being on time, present in mind and body, showing up and getting the job done says “loyal team player” to other members.
  2. Speak kindly of others, especially behind their back. It is easy to give someone public compliments, but the real test of who you are as a team player is what you say when that someone is not present.
  3. Respect each other. One of our staff said this and added, “…even if the other person doesn’t seem to respect you.”
  4. Treat others the way you want to be treated. The Golden Rule still works today. Model the behavior you seek in others.
  5. Seniority doesn’t mean loyalty. As one staff person bluntly put it, “One guy did just enough to get by for years – that is not loyalty that is being lazy.” A 25-year productive and engaged employee is a loyal employee. A 25-year employee waiting on retirement takes up space.

We all understand loyalty as something we look for in our spouse, our friends, even our pets, but many of us spend more time at our jobs than we do at home or at social gatherings. Loyalty in the workplace matters and can make a world of difference in attitude. True acts of loyalty breed trust, productivity, job satisfaction, and sense of accomplishment.

Loyalty is worth talking about. Take a minute and write down what loyalty means to you and your team members. How do you model it in your workplace? Are you depending on your seniority to count toward your loyalty? How can your team be more loyal to each other?

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