An effective, successful leader is only as good as the loyalty they inspire. True loyalty is built over time. Employees, clients, and stakeholders learn they can trust you and your judgment. You can't buy it, and you can't rush it. But how can you steadily inspire loyalty and build a team that will follow you no matter what?

Here are six ways you can start to encourage loyalty right now. 

  1. Build Trust

Developing a reputation for being trustworthy is gold for any leader. An employee who knows you trust them to do a good job will work twice as hard to please you and repay your confidence in them. Showing trust builds confidence in your team, as well as in your judgment. 

 2.  Clarity

Clarity from the boss means everyone knows what is expected of them and that there will not be any unpleasant surprises. Good leaders are clear about what they want, their vision, and their standards. They also share information and keep their team updated on what's likely to impact the project. 

Make sure people know you will be upfront and clear with them, no matter what. 

 3.  Be an Example

Good leaders are also role models for their teams. Be an exemplar of how you want your employees to behave. Be kind, pitch in when things are busy. Few things will make the team feel more valued than a leader who will roll up their sleeves and work with them to meet deadlines. 

 4.  Develop Positive Relationships

A good leader will put time and effort into building good relationships. Please get to know your employees, their situations, and what's happening for them in their lives. Of course, you need to maintain healthy boundaries, but take an interest in your team as people, not just as employees.

 5.  Encourage Your Employees' Development

Good leaders are committed to growing their teams' skills and experience. They know that a successful team is always learning and developing and that staff development is a sound investment in future success. 

 6.  Be Honest and Open

Probably the most important way to build loyalty is to be open and honest in all your dealings. It goes back to being trustworthy.  If everyone you deal with knows you can be relied upon to be truthful and open, you will soon be surrounded by supportive people who are fiercely loyal to you. Team members, clients, and board members will want to support you, work with you, and be faithful to you.