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Gain Respect in the Workplace as a Leader

Though we’re sure that there are some bosses who are reluctant to change, in today’s working environment, gone are the days of ruling employees through fear and intimidation. Today we are all much more caring and sharing, and looking for ways to move forwards without demeaning or belittling anyone. If you are an employer then motivating your workers can be a job in itself.

Though we’re sure that there are some bosses who are reluctant to change, in today’s working environment, gone are the days of ruling employees through fear and intimidation. Today we are all much more caring and sharing, and looking for ways to move forwards without demeaning or belittling anyone. If you are an employer then motivating your workers can be a job in itself. Unfortunately we live in a work culture where employees feel less and less important, as the mark of a job is no longer about how well you can do it, but rather about how easily you can be replaced. As a direct result, workers are feeling more insecure and less stable than at any time before.

If you run your own business or are employed in a management role, then you’ll need to work extra hard in order to make your employees feel respected. Of course, a lot will depend on your social outlook as to the purpose of work. If a job is something we all have to suffer in order to exist, then there’s not much hope in expecting any empathy or real leadership. If on the other hand, you actively want to create a workplace where everyone feels that their contribution matters, then there are a certain number of policies that you should practice for best results. Being a leader isn’t easy, but by following some basic steps we can make the job much easier and more rewarding,for both yourself and for your employees. 

Be Punctual

If you have a leadership role and yet you’re a slacker, then don’t expect any respect from employees. Respect has to be earned and there’s no quick fix for this. It’s to be found in all the small things as well as the big gestures. So, coming in on time, is at the very least, a given for everyone, and so it should apply to you even more so. Being on time, and being punctual are on the same level as keeping your word. If you value your times as much as other people value theirs, then don’t be late.

Admit Your Wrongdoings

Wearing false pride is going to kill any respect stone dead at 50 paces. For a start it’s totally transparent that it’s fake and no one likes a faker. If you want to be a leader then that means behaving like one and embracing all that’s required to fulfill the role. That includes admitting when you are wrong and then dealing with the consequences in a manner befitting someone who wants to grow and learn. Nothing is going to sow the seeds of resentment faster than dumping your own faults and errors onto others, either by blaming them or ignoring the bad results of your bad choices. So, if you’re a leader, then lead from the front and by excellent example.

Be Open to Employees’ Offers, Feedback, and Suggestion

Part and parcel of being able to admit our own mistakes and failings is the empathy to recognise the positives in other people’s ideas and suggestions. Never poo-poo an idea just because it didn’t come from the top of the organisation downwards. All employees know their area of expertise and can see ways of being more efficient and getting the job done faster and better. So always have an ear open to suggestions and new ideas. When they’re given, be sure to offer feedback and support, as these ideas are, on the whole, for the benefit of the whole business. On the other hand, you shouldn’t accept any advice blindly. Think things through and decide what’s in the best long-term interest for the overall business.

Show Your Work Ethic

It may sound dated, but the adage of “leading by example” still holds true today. Ensure that you are following the same rules, regulations and principles as all your employees. This is a means of demonstrating that you too, can be equally responsible. Take the initiative and ensure that your own work is exemplary. Remember that your job as management is to help the employees do their jobs better, not to do their work for them. We see many cases where someone is promoted from the shop floor and inserted into management, when in fact, they have zero idea of how to manage and simply return to their old ways of doing things, forgetting that they have a new and completely different role now.

Show Attention

Always be sure to take note that your employees are people, not just cyphers or numbers in a huge machine. You must make the effort to show them that you are aware of personal aspects of their lives, whether it’s talking about the kids or their hobbies. Birthdays, anniversaries and other dates for celebration should be marked in your calendar, and you should make an effort to buy a small but meaningful gift for such occasions. What you’re really saying with these tokens, is that each person who works under you is essential to the well being of the whole business, and that you both recognize and value this. Remember to set the same budget for all gifts so that there can be no accusations of favoritism later down the road.

Be Respectful

Always be respectful to everyone. Whether the cleaners, the security guards or your employees, being kind and respectful is a basic building block on which to build relationships. Never lose your temper or raise your voice. Always show restraint and only ever speak with respect. Never talk behind someone’s back with another employee as that will breed distrust among the employees, and quite rightly so. Part of being a leader is that you’ll have to shoulder some things and not share everything. Discretion is key.

Have Their Backs

Always be prepared to stick up for your own employees. No after what, never throw them under the bus. Keep in mind that you are their boss or leader, so whatever has gone down, it’s partly your own responsibility and you shouldn’t hesitate to make that known. If there is ever a need to reprimand someone, then choose your time to ensure that no one else is there to witness it. Be respectful yet firm. Remember to be both tactful and kind.

Leadership comes with its own baggage and it’s never easy stepping into those shoes. For a start there’s the responsibility. You’re no longer paid to do a specific job, but to oversee all the other workers and ensure that they bring quality projects through in a timely manner within deadlines. Good management requires excellent people skills as you want to get the best from your employees. 

There are any number of reasons why leaders fail to gain respect in their working environment. But the main one is the inability to see that it’s respect that has been earned that counts, not a management job title. That means over time others are watching to see how respectful you are to others, how kind and caring, courteous and protective. Do it right, and win the respect and loyalty of everyone. Get it wrong, and look forwards to a high employee turnover, late projects and a whole lot of miscommunication. 


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