The Illusion of Loyalty in Business

Have you ever thought your employees should have more loyalty to your company? How about thinking that the company owes loyalty to its employees? How about being loyal to your bank or vendors? It's all an illusion. Loyalty is another way of trying to get something you would otherwise not be able to get. It is an illusion that can get in the way of proper business practices. Are you holding onto employees that have been with your company for a long time but don't contribute any more? Are you buying certain items just because you've always done it? Is your banker telling you that you've been such a good custom that even when times get rough they'll stand by you? These are all forms of misplaced illusions of loyalty.

In a business I ran, the company had done business with the same insurance broker for over 20 years. Mike, the rep whom took care of us, was by now the VP of the insurance brokerage company and came out once a year to discuss the renewals. He was also friends with the VP in the company I ran and they played golf together, went out, etc. When I took over as president for this company, I looked into all expenses including the insurance policies we carried. I had our VP call Mike as I wanted to sit down and go over all the policies in place. When Mike finally came out, after weeks of delays, Mike told me that little had changed in the last few years so it was not worthwhile shopping for better rates or different coverages and we needed to renew the policies today. Renew I asked? I first want to see the policies and know what we are renewing. Our VP told me that they had done business together for years and I didn't understand the length and depth of the business relationship and that I needn't get involved. Red flag anyone ?! I thanked him for his input but wanted to see the policies and furthermore, I wanted to see the breakdown of all the fees and charges rather than a single (very hefty) bill. This was met with vehement objections and Mike now told me that it didn't matter because the polices had to be renewed now for the year or they would expire the following week and the company would be left without any insurance. Wow, Mike had timed that perfectly.

After insisting on itemization of the invoice, I saw why they were so against showing the breakdown. Mike had been adding expenses and a plethora of charges over the years in addition to collecting commissions. He had been padding the bill and had been double dipping heavily. I called another insurance company that day, switched all our policies before anything expired and saved the company more than $ 250K annually! This is the problem with loyalty when it gets in the way of proper business practices. In this case, the loyalty was completely one sided and completely misplaced and was nothing but a vail for deceit.

Look at your vendors. Are the vendors you are loyal to treating you well? Have you gone out for a competitive bid to check this? Obviously, there are often good reasons to stay with certain vendors and loyalty can work well in both directions. However, beware of misplaced loyalty getting in the way of your best practices. Look into it, you might be amazed at what you find.

With your success in mind,

Related posts

Leave a Comment