We have talked a lot lately about the importance building a loyal, motivated workforce. Loyal employees that you can truly depend on can be the difference between the success and failure of your business.

Every business owner that I’ve ever spoken to understands the importance of loyal employees—and wants them in his workforce!.

But many business owners don’t know how to make this happen. Many assume that hiring an employee and paying him/her a competitive salary with good benefits should be all it takes to create loyalty. After all—what more could they want in a job?

There’s more to it than that.

Inspiring loyalty from your employees requires that you, as the business owner, demonstrate loyalty and concern for them. Specifically, below are three concepts to keep in mind:

  1. Treat your employees as you’d want to be treated. The “Golden Rule” very much applies to employee management. Don’t criticize or reprimand your employees in public. Give them a raise when they have earned one. Don’t micromanage. Treat each individual with respect. As you interact with your employees, ask yourself “what would I expect from my boss if I was in their shoes?” This is an effective guiding principle and your employees will appreciate it.

  2. Act in the long-term best interests of each employee. You may not want to think about it, but the truth is that many of your employees will eventually leave your company or at the very least advance to a new role. Whether you are mindful of their long-term future or not, your employees are obviously mindful of their own future. By providing them with the training and the guidance they need to develop personally and professionally, you are offering invaluable assistance. They’ll know it, and they’ll reward you with loyalty and with maximum effort.

  3. Treat your team like people, not like robots. It’s easy to view your employees as simply cogs in the machine. They aren’t, and treating them that way will result in a disengaged workforce. Invest personally into the lives of your employees. Get to know their families. Be as flexible as possible when personal issues arise.

The key to inspiring loyalty is to treat your employees as you’d like to be treated. Invest into these relationships and I promise you that you’ll reap the benefits for years to come!