Employee Loyalty

Essence of Trust

 We all seek to be trusted and are attracted to those we trust.  But it begs the question, what is the essence of trust? 

Trust is about safety.  The presence of trust, in organizations, creates the feeling of confidence – a secure knowledge that our behavior, our work and our performance will be evaluated in an objective, rational and consistent way.  It means we need not fear a subjective, arbitrary or personal attack that would threaten our reputation or stability within the organization – or worse, our self-esteem. 

Trust is the comfort of knowing we’ll be treated fairly if we simply do the right thing.  What solidifies this feeling of safety is experiencing it consistently, to the point where it is predictable.  We can count on it.  Then, and only then, are we freed up and fired up to do our best work.

How do we build a trustful place of our followers?  As Barry Posner writes in Leadership Challenge, when it comes to building trust:Team Huddle

  • Leaders must “go first” – you must model the way.
  • Leaders should always act trustworthy – this creates trust.

Don’t wait for others to demonstrate their trustworthiness for you to trust them.  Embrace your role as a leader and be the trustworthy model that leads the way!

 

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Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.

Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.

Information Exchange – Being A Persuasive

 

People who try to persuade others usually think to say please and thank you, but it takes much more than that to overcome the most significant obstacle: resistance.  In his book “Being a Persuasive”, Ken O’Quinn acknowledges resistance is at the heart of persuasion; without it, there Is usually no need for persuasion.

Here are some tips to handle resistance:

1. Acknowledge the Resistance – If the audience is already resistant, be candid about it and address it up front. Say, “I realize you might be reluctant to,” or “I understand your concerns about.” By treating their opinions with respect, you are validating their feelings and opinions, and the empathy helps to create an emotional connection.

2. Change the Frame of Reference – People evaluate information differently depending on which element they are focusing on.  You can rearrange the elements of your proposal to emphasize the positive attributes.  When people eating hamburgers were told that the meat was 75 percent lean, they gave it a higher grade than did a second group (eating the same meat), which was told that the meat contained only 25 percent fat.

3. Change the Comparison – People evaluate options with a comparison point in mind, and you often can persuade them to accept an offer depending on what they are comparing it with.  For example, a group was having a difficult time selling cookies for $.75, so it puts on its sign “reduced from $1 to 75 cents,” and it sold many more.

4. Remove the Audience’s Reluctance – LL Bean outdoor clothing and sporting goods dealer built a global reputation on its satisfaction-guaranteed customer service.  Among other things, customers can return produces, even without a sales receipt.  This guarantee provides an assurance to the customer who might be hesitating to buy but decides to do it, thinking, “I can always return it.”

5. Demonstrate Your Credibility – People often decide how to respond to a persuasive appeal based not on the content of the message but on whether they view the communicator as credible.  And two factors people use to judge credibility are expertise and trustworthiness.  Communicate your expertise in your message.  This can include citing well-known experts in the field.  When you refer to credible sources, your message becomes more persuasive.

Call Loyalty Factor at 603-334-3401 today to schedule an in-house training program: Tackling Resistance and create a culture of engagement in your organization!

 

Stages of Change

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While consulting I often encounter employee issues that tend to arise as changes are introduced into an organization. Change management has always been an issue of debate among scholars: How can employers create suitable conditions for a successful change process? And what can employees do to get through it?
By nature, human beings tend to resent change and resist it strongly. The whole process can be very distressing to employees and negative emotions (or reactions) could stem out of it. It is very important to recognize the different stages of change and anticipate the impact in order to take preventative measures.
1. Denial: employees fight it and strive to defend their status-quo at this stage.
2. Anger: employees realize they cannot possibly avoid the new occurring and organizational change. Insecurity, lack of self-esteem and chaos are the main highlights of this stage.
3. Dejection: By this stage employees have realized they cannot have the old ways back and they have no other choice but to let go of them. The anger is now translated into remorse and despair.
4. Acceptance: This happens when employees are finally acknowledging the fact that this change is bound to happen. They are now starting to reflect on the new ways and removing old hurdles from their way.
5. Learning and Development: This takes place when employees finally realize that this change could actually improve their upcoming prospects and decide to focus their efforts in absorbing it and moving forward.
As you are implementing changes, consider these stages and allow employees to move through them. The end result with be better for everyone!

 

DD-Queen-of-Loyalty-2011

Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.”

 

Leadership and the Art of Struggle

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Leadership is often a struggle.  Often leaders feel they are supposed to be perfect or at least perfectly capable of dealing with struggle.  But, of course, no leader is perfect.  All human beings have their own unique flaws and frailties.  And, struggle is a natural part of leadership. 

 

Instead of denying struggle, or feeling some degree of shame, Steven Snyder in Leadership and the Art of Struggle explains how savvy leaders embrace struggle as an opportunity for growth and learning, as an art to be mastered.  They come to see struggle as a universal rite of passage without allowing themselves to become mired in it. 

 

There are three fundamental conditions that determine the nature of the struggle and serve as its defining elements:

 

  1. Change.  Every struggle is triggered by some type of change.  External change always carries with it seeds of opportunity and growth.  The struggle may come from discerning the best way to take advantage of those opportunities or how to do so with limited resources.  In other cases, change comes from deep within a leader’s inner world.  As the heart and the mind expand to take in new ideas, feelings and perspectives, struggle comes from the process of clarifying newly emerging values and identity.
  2. Tensions. The process of change creates a natural set of tensions. Tension points stem from individual and institutional traditions (past) and aspirations (future) as well as (outward) relationships and (inward) identity.
  3. Being out of balance.  All leaders need some way to anchor and balance themselves in times of turbulence when forces beyond their control begin swirling around them with chaotic intensity.  Leaders use a variety of practices to remain centered and grounded, including:
  • Diet and exercise
  • Connecting with something greater than themselves
  • Deeply connecting with nature
  • Journaling
  • Their own unique blend of these practices and others

              

               One particular practice seems to function on a higher plane, transcending these other more traditional approaches.  This is the practice of mindfulness.  The central focus is self-awareness.  Through the practice of mindfulness, we learn to objectively observe ourselves during stressful situations – as if both experiencing the situation and simultaneously watching ourselves.  The simple reflective act of naming our emotions as we experience them grants us a new power to more intentionally choose how we respond.

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As you grow in your leadership role, navigating the struggle will elevate your leadership success.  Dianne Durkin of Loyalty Factor has years of experience mentoring leaders as they navigate various struggles in their career.  For more information or to engage Dianne Durkin, contact Loyalty Factor at 603.334.3401.

An Employee Would Work an Extra Week for an Incentive Program

CommunicatingEmployees Would Work an Extra Week for an Incentive Program

Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., released the results of a survey that found one-third of office workers would be willing to put in an extra week of work each year if it meant their company would implement an incentive program. Respondents at companies that already have such programs say they are:

• More Valued (85%)
• Happier and More Motivated at Work (70%)
• More Loyal to their Company (65%)
• More Productive and able to get Better Results (60%)

A staggering 70% of employees at companies without incentive programs say they’d love to work for a company that has one. In addition to working an extra week each year, these employees would be willing to make other sacrifices if it meant their company would implement an incentive program – 30% say they would take on extra responsibilities, and more than 40% would be in favor of forgoing the annual holiday party.

What is your organization doing to implement incentive programs? For help in implementing creative, cost effective programs, contact Loyalty Factor at 603-334-3401.

ESM: Engagement Strategies Magazine, Nov/Dec 2011

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Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.

Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.”

The Enemy of Engagement

Business People Group

‘Frustration isn’t an employee issue; it’s an organizational issue.’

 

Frustrated employees represent 20% or more of the total workforce, leading to a major loss in performance, talent and revenue.  Frustration wears down motivated, dedicated employees who really care about their jobs and can’t get the organizational support they need to get things done.

 

According to Mary Royal and Tom Agnew, the authors of The Enemy of Engagement, “Frustrated employees really want to succeed in their role and become aggravated by organizational barriers or a lack of resources.  Managers must ask the right questions and address the issue promptly, or risk losing top talent who care deeply about the organization.”

 

Frustration isn’t just an employee issue, it’s an organizational issue, adding that “Managers must listen for clues and serve as the voice for frustrated employees.”

 

To learn how to engage and empower  by utilizing empathetic listening to identify the frustration in your workforce and to increase performance and profits, contact Loyalty Factor at 603-334-3401.

 

DDD-Queen-of-Loyalty-2011ianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.

Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.”

Information Exchange: Customer Service is Never Ending. You’ve always got to prove yourself.

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
  • Simplifying mergers and acquisitions

This weeks InfoExchange highlights some excerpts from an interview with Home Depot CEO Frank Blake, in the recent issue of Fortune Magazine.

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The Oct 7, 2013 issue of Fortune Magazine had an interview with Frank Blake, the CEO of Home Depot.  Excerpts from the article are as follows:

In the last quarter Home Depot blew away the analyst estimates.  When asked about customer service, Blake responded, “It’s never ending. You’ve always got to prove yourself but, it starts by taking care of your associates.”

He says that as a company you have to show that you care about your people and that you have the people’s well-being at heart. This is precisely why even in the housing downturn, the company maintained salary increases, 401K match, and increased bonuses.  Once you show that the company cares, you can then provide training.  The training is focused on helping the associates answer customer questions.

Mr. Blake mostly talked about Home Depot’s core competencies.  He stated it is all about aligning around a few things.  With over 2000 stores and 40,000 associates, he claims it is the ability to very clearly define what the organization wants to do and have everyone align around that purpose.   It is about focus, focus, focus and concentrating on the things that really make a difference.  He stated “Today’s top focus is having as seamless an experience as possible for the consumer whether they are interacting online or in the store.”

Dianne Durkin of Loyalty Factor has a proven track record in guiding leaders through defining their corporate vision.  To schedule a personalized coaching session, contact Dianne today at 603.334.3401.

Information Exchange: Connect, then Lead Part Two

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
  • Simplifying mergers and acquisitions

Our information exchange this week highlights the articleConnect, then Lead“ by Amy Cuddy, Matthew Kohut, and John Neffinger. This article was published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review.

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In the last info exchange we highlighted Connect, then Lead from the Harvard Business Review by Amy Cuddy, Matthew Kohut and John Neffinger.  One of the key points in developing as a leader addressed “it is better to exercise warmth and be loved than feared.”  In this article we will provide the author’s hints of how to Exercise Warmth & Show Strength.

  • Find the right vocal level.  Speak with lower pitch and volume as you would if you were comforting a friend.  In doing so you signal that you trust those you’re talking with to handle things the right way.
  • Validate feelings. If you show your employees that you hold roughly the same worldview they do, you demonstrate not only empathy but, in their eyes, common sense – the ultimate qualification for being listened to.  If you would like others to listen and agree with you, first agree with them.
  • Smile – and mean it.  Smiling sincerely becomes self-reinforcing.  We tend to mirror one another’s nonverbal expressions and emotions, so when we see someone beaming and emanating genuine warmth, we can’t resist smiling ourselves.
  • Stand up straight. Good posture demonstrates authority and that one should be taken seriously.  Good posture doesn’t mean standing at attention, but rather reaching your full height and straightening the S-curve in your back rather than slouching.

As a leader, once you establish your warmth, your strength is received as a welcome reassurance!  Your leadership becomes a gift to those in your organization.

Loyalty Factor offers programs which teach concepts of NLP plus conscious empathetic listening techniques.  For more information about Loyalty Factor programs, contact us at 603.334.3401 or visit our website at www.loyaltyfactor.com.

Information Exchange: Connect, then Lead

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
  • Simplifying mergers and acquisitions

Our information exchange this week highlights the articleConnect, then Lead“ by Amy Cuddy, Matthew Kohut, and John Neffinger. This article was published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review.

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Research presented in the article Connect, then Lead in the July-August 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review by Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy and consultants Matthew Kohut and John Neffinger shows that leaders would do much better to begin with “Love” – that is, to establish trust through warmth and understanding.

Most leaders today approach their jobs by emphasizing competence, strength, and credentials.  But without first building a foundation of trust, they run the risk of eliciting fear, resentment, or envy.

Beginning with warmth allows trust to develop, facilitating both the exchange and the acceptance of ideas – people really hear your message and become open to it.  Cultivating warmth and trust also boosts the quantity and quality of novel ideas that are produced.  The best way to gain influence is to combine warmth and strength.

Leaders who project strength before establishing trust run the risk of eliciting fear, and along with it, a host of dysfunctional behaviors.  Fear can undermine cognitive potential, creativity, and problem solving, and cause employees to get stuck and even disengage.    Without a foundation of trust, people in the organization may comply outwardly with a leader’s wishes, but they’re much less likely to conform privately – to adopt the values, culture and mission of the organization in a sincere, lasting way.  Workplaces lacking in trust often have a culture of “every employee for himself.”

The best way to gain influence is to combine warmth and strength.

Contact Loyalty Factor at 603.334.3401 to learn how to build trust and warmth into your organization and begin your personal coaching to develop strategies on how to balance strength and warmth.

10 Steps to Succeed at Work: Step Six

6. Build Your Trust Bank

Trust is essential for all organizations and at all levels of an organization. You need to be trusted by your coworkers and everyone you deal with. When trust exists, they will work with you as a team, people will believe in you and they will be willing to partner with you to create incredible results for yourself and the organization.

TBuilding-Trusthere are four major elements of trust. The first is straightforwardness. What individuals need to do is set expectations that are clear, make sure disagreements are discussed and resolved and individual expectations are discussed and agreed upon.

The second one is openness.  The way you achieve openness is to make sure you exchange information and communicate, communicate, communicate!  As we said before, communication is key to all success.

The third is acceptance. Respecting and accepting people for their contributions and their differences. It would be great if everyone in the world was just like us, at the same time it would be a very boring world and we would not get the creativity and the innovation that is so needed in the business world. Accepting people for the differences in their skill sets, their values and how they operate is key to building trust and reliability.  This is one element that cannot be understated. You need to do what you say and say what you do. In the business world you need to be sure people can count on you and your word. Building your trust bank will help you grow to be a huge success in your organization.