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Loyal employees.

As a bookkeeping business owner, if you truly want your operation to skyrocket to success, you’ll need the above.

The tough part is finding them.

But, how can you identify a loyal employee in your sight?’s, Jeff Haden reveals the 6 signs to look for:

1. Tell you what you least want to hear

As a general rule, the more rungs on the ladder that separate you and an employee, the less likely she will disagree with you.

For example, your direct reports may sometimes take a different position or even mention you're wrong. Their direct reports are much less likely to state a position other than yours.

And entry-level employees will sing directly from the company songbook, at least when you're the audience.

Truly loyal employees know you most need to hear what you least want to hear such as your ideas may not work, your point of view is off and you made a mistake.

They'll tell you because they know, though you may not care much for what you hear, you care tremendously about doing what is best for your company and your employees.

2. Treat you like a person

Remember when you were in grade school and you ran into your teacher at, say, the grocery store? It was weird. She wasn't supposed to exist outside of school. You didn't see your teacher as someone who wore shorts and had friends and wore an AC/DC T-shirt and actually had a life.

Your teacher wasn't a person; she was a teacher.

Lots of employees see you that way, too--they don't see you as someone with dreams and hopes, insecurities and fears.

You're not a person; you're a boss.

Genuinely loyal employees flip the employer-employee relationship. They know you want to help them reach their professional and personal goals and you want what's best for them--and they also want what's best for you, both at work and in your personal life.

They see you as more than just a boss and they treat you that way.

3. Never criticize you in front of others

"Bash the boss" is a game almost every employee plays, at least occasionally. (One of your employees is probably talking about you right now.) Partly they criticize you because it's a way of letting off steam, but mostly they do it because we all think, at least some of the time, we can do a better job than the person we work for.

Criticism, mocking, sniping -- when you're in charge, those things come with the territory.

They also chip away at the respect you work so hard to deserve.

Loyal employees get that. They don't gossip, they don't snipe, they don't talk behind your back -- they give you the respect they expect to receive, even when you're not around.

4. Yet they still disagree--only in private

Debate is healthy. Disagreement is healthy. Weighing the pros and cons of a decision, playing devil's advocate, sharing opinions -- every leader wants to hear what his or her team thinks. It's not just enlightening; it's stimulating.

Truly loyal employees trust they can share their opinions as freely as you do. In fact, they trust you want them to -- because you and the company benefit from an honest exchange of differing opinions and points of view.

But once a decision is made...

5. Totally support your decisions--and you--in public

I guarantee you've been in at least one meeting where someone says, "Look, I don't think this is the right thing to do, but I've been told we're going to do it anyway.

So let's at least give it our best shot."

After that little speech, does anyone ever give it their best shot?

Even when they disagree with a decision, loyal employees don't try to prove you wrong.

They do everything they can to prove you right.

6. Tell you when they need to leave

I've never known an incredibly loyal employee who wasn't also just a plain-old incredible employee. Because of that, you want them to stay. You need them to stay.

Still, sometimes they need to leave -- for a better opportunity, a different lifestyle, to enter a new field or to start their own business. But they also know their departure will create a tremendous hole, so they let you know what they're thinking to give you plenty of time to prepare.

Granted, if an employee is willing to tell you well ahead of time she plans to leave or is just thinking about leaving, it means she trusts you to an exceptional degree.

Clearly she knows you won't start to treat her differently or fire her on the spot.

She trusts you because she's been loyal to you. After all, she has put your interests ahead of hers a number of times -- and now she knows you'll do the same for her.

Thank you Jeff.

So, if you have an employee that has a few or many of the above, hold onto her and treat her like gold because she is rare.

You cannot be successful without loyal employees, so make sure you value them.

Your business will be glad you did.

To your success,


Michael Palmer

Article by Michael Palmer

Michael is the CEO of Pure Bookkeeping, the host of The Successful Bookkeeper podcast and an acclaimed business coach who has helped hundreds of bookkeepers across the world push through their fears and exponentially grow their businesses and achieve the quality of life they've always wanted.