Investing in loyalty: A lesson in personal & professional relationships


By definition, “loyalty” is the quality or state of being loyal, a loyal feeling, a feeling of strong support for someone or something.

But what does that mean when it comes to employment? Does loyalty really matter? Is loyalty relevant to a business’ overall success? I believe it is. If it’s not, then why have faith in mankind? In my opinion, life is love – or it should be. Those are two four-letter words that need to be in harmony.

When a person’s loyalty – or perceived loyalty – is in question or is outright broken, degrees of disappointment inevitably follow. When someone you love disappoints you, your heart aches. In the workplace, employers/managers/supervisors often use the old cliché “I treat you like I would my family” when addressing the employees they oversee.

But do managers really do that? Even if you’re a manager who does, remember that some blood-related families are quite dysfunctional and most family members eventually leave the nest. That time seems to be coming later in life with the Millennial and upcoming “Selfie” generations (those who are around age 20 and younger). There I go again highlighting that generation.

When it comes to employment loyalty, I believe it’s all about the buy-in. To the adage “You have to spend money to make money,” I believe this means everyone who’s part of a company. It’s “all for one, one for all.” Employers need to invest in their employees, and employees need to invest in their employers.

Everyone must “live love.” Is living love utopia? I don’t think so. I believe in demanding positive energy from others, as no one can afford to have other people bring them down and still be successful. Demand an open, positive workplace dialogue. I’m certainly not one for biting my tongue. But if you must turn your cheek, that’s fine – then ask them to leave and not return.

Loyalty often requires that dreaded word “change.” But most change is good. An unwillingness to change either attitude or negative behavior is admitting that you don’t want to learn something new each day. That attitude in the workplace is unacceptable!

To managers: Find what your employees really enjoy and give it to them – if they’re worth it. Boomers and X-ers might like money or gifts. Millennials may prefer time off or an all-expense paid trip to experience something Boomers would never dream of doing. These bonuses, along with continuing to invest in the most up-to-date tools to make your deliverables the best they can be, should be paramount to a business’ success.

But more important than all of that is love.

Love is a continual, warranted, kind word. It’s an honest expressed concern of another’s concerns, by demonstrating love through actions more than words. What motivates you as a manager, more often than not, doesn’t necessarily motivate your employees or coworkers.

If you truly “live love,” then when an employee leaves your company, it should always be a good thing. Their departure is either because they don’t live love – so it’s good they’re leaving your business – or they do live love and they deserve to find their way.

How you invest in, build up and handle loyalty is up to you. But if you live love, you will handle disappointment with grace and use it productively.

Until next time,





Jim Emmerling
Owner/President/Media Specialist, Em-Media Inc.

Phone: (740) 264-2186


About Jim Emmerling: Helping businesses succeed through creative meaningful campaigns was and continues to be the driving goal of Em-Media, which was founded on April 1, 1996 by Jim Emmerling. Since the inception of Em-Media, Jim has guided his team of media specialists into one of the region’s premier full-service advertising agencies. Jim’s advertising career spans 30+ years. Prior to starting his own advertising and marketing agency, Emmerling worked at The Gannett Newspaper Corp. in Tarentum, Pa., and held management positions at The Daily Collegian in State College, Pa., as well as at WTOV9 in Steubenville. A native of New Kensington, Pa., Emmerling graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications. Jim and his wife, Lee Ann, have raised four wonderful children: Michael, Jacob, Jonathan and Isabella. Jim is very active civically, serves on several boards of directors seats, and was past president of The Steubenville Rotary Club.

About Em-Media: Since 1996, Em-Media has given clients the best value in today’s markets. No matter where your business is located, Em-Media can create a cost-effective, memorable marketing message. Em-Media knows the importance of communicating clients’ messages in an ever-changing digital world combined with traditional media. Our team is up-to-date on new digital media trends to adapt to our clients’ ever-changing needs. From start to finish, our staff is ready to design your website, manage your social media platforms, and increase your presence on the online spotlight.

Our primary function is consulting with our clients on marketing goals and creating advertising campaigns utilizing television, radio, digital platforms, billboards and print media to accomplish these goals. We have confidence in the experience of our team to assist in the development of your market area.

The agency’s expertise encompasses but is not limited to:

Media Buying & Placement | Brand Strategy | Graphic Design | Website Development | Commercial Production | Social Media Management | Inbound Marketing | Public Relations | TV & Radio Show Production

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