There is probably no one in the world who does not want to be respected. Indeed, one could go so far as to declare respect from others a legitimate need. Nowhere is this need more prominent than in the workplace.
Employers Desire Employees’ Admiration
It’s no secret that employees want their supervisors to respect them. Workers want to know that those in leadership over them see the good things they bring to the table. But, the door swings both ways; employers have an equally strong desire to be esteemed by their employees.
Do you have the privilege of holding a supervisory position in the workplace? If so, you are probably aware of the amount of respect your employees have for you. No matter how much your employees currently respect you, you can win more of their esteem by assuming the following behaviours:
How to Win the Respect of Your Workforce
— Call out the gold in others – Do you tend to see the best or the worst in those you lead? While it’s fine to assess employees’ weaknesses, it’s more important to recognize and verbally acknowledge the gold (the hidden talents and good characteristics) they possess. Once called out and nurtured, these talents will grow. Challenge yourself to encourage 3 employees this week by commenting on particular skills or qualities that you admire in them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly these employees will become your biggest advocates.
— Give what you want to receive – Do you want to win the regard of your employees? If so, it is crucial that you consistently treat them with honor. Some employers develop an attitude of waiting to be respected before showing respect, but this is counterproductive. Make it a point to show the members of your workforce respect in practical ways (by sending “thank you” emails for jobs well done, smiling, asking how they are doing, etc.). Before you know it, the same courtesies will be extended to you.
— Be sacrificial – Few things garner admiration more quickly than self-sacrifice. Bruce J. Avolio of the Center for Leadership and Creative Thinking (University of Washington) advises employers to “be willing to sacrifice for the greater good of the organization when such sacrifices contribute to everyone’s success.” Acting sacrificially will cause employees to see you in a new light.
Don’t be discouraged by the lack of respect you’ve received from your employees in the past. Instead, begin calling out the gold in those you lead, tangibly showing regard for your workforce, and acting sacrificially when circumstances call for it. These behaviours will earn the esteem of your employees and help you create a positive workplace atmosphere.
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