To be an effective manager at work takes far more effort than meets the common eye. It is challenging to consider the needs, goals and unique personalities of multiple people while also completing the necessary tasks that you have each day. Despite the challenges, it is mission-critical to gain employee respect.
While your position of power puts you above them in your organizational hierarchy, it does not mean that they will automatically look up to you. Instead, you have to create the conditions to gain employee respect. Taking the time to learn and put into practice the types of habits that will yield positive working relationships and more productive employees is well worth the effort.
Here are eight steps you can take to gain employee respect and form a more effective team starting today: is well worth the effort.
1. Get to know them personally.
The first step to gaining respect from your employees is to demonstrate that you care about them. When they feel important and thought of, they will be more likely to appreciate and listen to you.
This involves getting to know them outside of the work setting. Learn about their interests, their family, their past experiences and other aspects that make up their character. Doing so will enable you to connect on commonalities that you have.
In knowing a person better you will also be better able to understand them. It gives you a greater idea of their motivations, what they have going on outside of the office, and why they act in the ways that they do.
This heightened sense of empathy goes a far way in garnering respect. You will be able to treat them well and give them the support that they need. That can establish trust and, consequently, respect that you are fit to be managing them.
2. Demonstrate expertise in your realm without pretending.
People respect those that they want to emulate. There is a reason that you are in the manager role and they are employees. You should not flaunt your successes, but you should be thoughtful about what they know about you.
Be open about your past successes and expertise in the realm. Maybe you previously excelled in their role or you have spent a significant amount of time at the company and understand the business quite well.
When employees believe that you have something to offer them and that you deserve to be in your role, they will respect you more.
There are also times when you will have people working for you that have skills you do not. It is okay for them to be better than you at certain things. Your job is to empower them to excel, not to outmatch them in everything. There is, therefore, no need to pretend like you have skills or knowledge that you do not.
People appreciate honesty. Although they might be more proficient than you at certain tasks, you can still thrive as a manager and gain employee respect.
3. Treat them as equals.
There is no need to treat your employees poorly — or ever as if they are below you. Strict adherence to organizational hierarchy can create resentment.
Instead, treat them as equals. They will respect you for putting them on the same level as yourself. This means having faith in their competency (unless proven otherwise), talking to them as equals and not taking steps to put yourself above them.
Having faith in them will enable you to create a stronger relationship with each individual and earn you far greater respect.
4. Understand their personal goals.
Each person working for you is spending a chunk of their life committed to your company, and their job plays a large part in their self-concept. They each have individual goals, and it is crucial to understand these.
The best managers help their employees accomplish their dreams. When your employees know that you want to help them succeed, they will have much more respect for you. Although it can be challenging to lose a top performer to a different job or team within your company, employees will come and go no matter what.
Having their best interests at heart will make them want to work for you. It will ensure them that their hard work will pay off, and, consequently, increase their happiness as well as output.
5. Be receptive to feedback.
Some managers commit the fallacy of thinking that they need to maintain a perfect image in front of their employees. In fact, though, doing the opposite will yield greater respect.
Be receptive to feedback and make sure your employees know that. This will make them more comfortable being open with you, and it will give you an opportunity to improve. Plus, it will create a positive mindset for them. If you are trying to change and become better each day, then they should as well.
This willingness to be self-critical and change over time will create a much more positive environment while also earning you more respect.
6. Discuss the bigger picture.
You do not have to share everything happening in your world, but it can motivate your employees to share information with them.
Keeping them up-to-date on some of your work and the decisions being made above them can accomplish a few valuable things. First, it is energizing. It helps them see the big picture of the company and gives them a greater “why” for the work that they are doing. It also earns you more respect as they see the role that you are playing in those decisions.
When you are working on challenging problems, this is especially the case. They will respect the difficulties you are facing. Plus, by having these conversations, you never know when a creative idea or solution could be proposed.
7. Give them responsibility and trust.
You have to let your employees run with their work. It is easy to micromanage and ensure that everything goes the way that you want. Although it is more comforting at the moment, doing so is much more challenging to sustain. It can be exhausting to have to watch out for every detail.
When you micromanage, your employees are not able to do their best work. Giving them autonomy will make you both happier. An employee will put more effort into their jobs, and they will respect you for empowering them as opposed to holding them back.
8. Never take things too seriously.
Work is important; there is no doubt. Sometimes there will be high-stakes events going on around you. Regardless of the situation, though, you should not take things too seriously. There are typically more important things in the world than your job or the problem at hand.
People immediately have greater respect for those that make them feel good. If you are constantly stressing your employees out, they will not enjoy working with you.
By being light-hearted, you are showing them that they can enjoy their work. This will make them happier to both be at your company and to be working for you.