Some companies demand loyalty from personnel, but we felt that loyalty should first come from us to them. Loyalty is something earned, not expected.

—Elmer Nordstrom

Loyalty is a feeling of strong support for someone or something. We all crave it and once we have established loyalty we nurture it, because loyalty, like truth and respect, can be lost in the blink of an eye.

Loyalty—to customers, colleagues, vendors, and community—is the by‐product of respect, recognition, and reward for a job well done. Loyalty helps to create a bond and allegiance that enables us to get through the inevitable challenging times. The only way people will be loyal to an organization is if they are shown appreciation, given respect, and rewarded with good pay and a piece of the action.

Because brothers Everett, Elmer, and Lloyd of the second generation of Nordstroms believed that the commitment to loyalty started with them, they dedicated themselves to providing opportunities for their employees to make more money than any other retail salespeople in Seattle.

“We did everything we could to get the best people, and once we had them, we did everything we could to keep them,” said Elmer. From as far back as the 1930s, Elmer and his brothers believed in promoting from within, which is a Nordstrom employment practice that endures to this day. (We will be discussing Nordstrom's promote‐from‐within ...

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