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Authentic Loyalty Requires Commitment, Not Just Compliance


Mon Dec 22 2014

Authentic Loyalty Requires Commitment, Not Just Compliance

Leaders often mistake compliance for commitment. Team members’ engagement in workplace could be misconstrued as commitment. Status quo performance and adhering to policies and procedures, set forth by regulations within industry, are symptoms of compliance.  In order to know the difference between a committed and a compliant team member, leaders and managers should heed simple principles in order to keep the team on track and ensure a “buy-in” attitude.

Micro-managing is a common mistake of leaders in a compliant-polluted environment. This damaging fault of leadership is one that cannot be changed easily or quickly. Acting as the grand overseer causes a state of paranoia for leadership and the team; the incessant need to watch your back and the emotionless overexcitement in an attempt to gain trust can result in an overall hostile work environment breeding compliance over commitment. Work is accomplished, but your team members are never really performing for the greater good and overall goal.


Cultivating a committed team in the workforce should have the majority. Leaders consider commitment as a weakness due to general lack of follow through and commitment on their behalf. However, engineering a committed team can be accomplished in three empowering ideals:

  • Strong vision. Team members have an emotional connection to the workplace as the majority of their daily lives are spent at work. One cannot assume that performance means commitment. Team members who lack belief in your vision will take the path of least resistance by ensuring work is completed but punch the clock as soon as the task is complete. Committed team members will go above and beyond, they will put their heart into their work.

  • Involvement. Every good organization requires a variety of perspectives in the decision making process. Often the vision is similar for leaders and managers which can result in a tunnel vision and inability to mitigate variables in workflow. This is where feedback from team members is vital. Their democratic role in providing a valuable perspective to how they engage in a workflow or process can provide differing ideas and values when making decisions. Compiling their feedback and sharing to the audience at large keeps the team members engaged, ensures they feel valued by asking their view points and keeps the organization and team moving in the right direction.

  • Recognition. Want to know the biggest secret to employee commitment? Endless thanks. Leadership and managers thank their team members for the greatest goals achieved, hurdles met, and when challenges are overcome. This can leave them feeling as if their daily contributions go largely unnoticed. Gaining commitment requires recognition on a regular basis, even if daily. A simple “thank you” at the end of the day thanking team members for their daily contribution shows your commitment to their commitment and daily dedication.

Gaining commitment from team members boils down to individual respect and helping them entrust to their own success. When team members feel empowered the quality of their work will show the difference between compliance and commitment. Additionally, committed team members will be compliant in the policies and procedures of the organization.

The two roles will begin to homogenize and meld into a cyclical nirvana of a heartfelt buy-in with the vision. Employees will begin to evolve by providing unsolicited, quality feedback to be utilized for the greater good, as opposed to the paranoid, back-biting fear that is generated by constant micromanaging and overseeing. Gratitude becomes the attitude as team members, managers and leadership nurture and develops each other personally and professionally.

An overall feeling of trust and security is experienced by the team members when they feel appreciated for their efforts, their feedback is considered in the decision making process and when they can see how they all merge into the shared vision. Maintaining this mode of operation is key for any organization and their leaders in order to operate at top potential for success.

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