We live in an age where people are starting to become more and more aware of the importance of a good workplace culture. Where people are motivated, engaged, and part of the solution, not just tools or numbers. Having your employees on your side is invaluable to a business leader. But to get them there, there’s one more ingredient you have to offer. You have to offer them a little respect. But that’s not achieved just by being polite. Respect means a little more than that. Read on to see what how good leaders respect their employees.
It’s one mistake that several employers just never really think about correcting. Some people think that having a job that pays should be reward enough for the work that people are willing to do. But people cannot live on bread alone, as the saying goes. You need to think about the emotional side of the hierarchy of needs. Simply making it clear that you appreciate the work they do and that you value their efforts can make a big difference. There are literally over a hundred ways to reward employees without having to give them money. Have a big team dinner if they meet a monthly target. Some public praise goes a long way. Even a simple thank you, with an explanation of why you’re thanking them. Employees need to feel that their work makes a difference and that they are contributing to something worth while.
There’s a not-so-invisible barrier between the boss and the rest of the team. It can make relationships strained unless you take the time to chip away at it. Even worse, however, it can keep you separated from the realities of what your team’s work means. If you don’t know what it is they do, you don’t know their pressures, don’t know how much effort they put in then you can’t offer any meaningful feedback on their work. That’s why courses from places like Maryville University offer such a broad spectrum. Understanding accounting, marketing, administration and the rest is important to being a good leader. You need to know what it’s like on the front lines to properly know your team and what they’re going through every day.
The better you understand and account for the needs of the team, they more that your employees will take notice of it. Many employers make good use of available benefits plans to make their business a much more attractive place to work, for one. But there are needs within the business that you should consider as well. Chief amongst them is the need for upward momentum. Everyone has a career goal or plan, and holding them back from it, whether intentionally or inadvertently is a blatant disrespect to the individual. You might think making them overqualified for a job through training and experience of new responsibilities is going to push them away. But failing to do so will only make it harder to retain them. Help employees reach their career aspirations and goals. Provide training and opportunities to try new things.
Empathy also extends to outside the workplace and being flexible when something happens at home. Sometimes employees need time or the flexibility to take care of something, either for their own families or themselves. So be open to working with your employees on specific arrangements when issues and urgencies arise.
Respect means understanding the work they do, it means understanding their needs better and understanding your role as a validator, not just an employer. Understand and respect and you could be getting a lot more from a much happier workplace environment.
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