Respect is an important part of engagement. Give a little…get a little… This is how you create the relationships you need for more engaged employees.
Respect is really just living your life by the Golden Rule. Treat everyone around you like you would like them to treat you. Simple, but yet very powerful.
As a leader you want to show your team how to behave in the workplace. Being positive at all times is important, but showing respect to everyone is also a move in the right direction.
One very important aspect of respect is that you need to be reliable. You’re the leader and your team counts on you to be there, so be there. Being reliable is showing up on time or even early; that means to work, to meetings and appointments.
Be available. Answer your phone, if you can’t answer your phone return your messages as soon as possible. Reply to your emails…but only after you have read them and have a complete understanding of the entire email. Respond to your text messages.
When you commit to something do it. This shows your team that their time is important too.
Listening to people who are speaking to you is also a way to show respect. Don’t interrupt and attempt to finish their sentences because they are not speaking as quickly as you would like. Listening to your employees is a clear sign of respect.
Avoid drama! Do not get involved in workplace gossip or criticism of your company or management. In fact, you should shoot it down whenever possible. It is important to remember that when a coworker is talking about someone who is not present, they will probably do the same to you when you are not there. Never speak poorly about someone that is not present.
When it comes to communicating with employees and creating a respect-filled workplace, I am a big fan of recognizing employees publicly for the things they do well and criticizing employees in private for the things they could do better.
Helping your team is another way of showing respect. We all have difficult jobs and in the last decade most workers have been asked to do more work for the same amount of pay. Don’t think they don’t recognize what has happened, they do! So, when you roll up your sleeves and get in there and help them with their daily tasks, you gain their respect. This is a great way to increase your relationships with members of your team.
Get your team involved and ask for their input about the processes they deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes the employees who are doing the work on a daily basis see things that a team leader has overlooked.
Give employees ownership of certain processes – let them find issues and solve them. It is important to listen to your team – I know this may be a revelation to some of you – but you don’t know everything about every job.
When you have the respect of your team, members will come to you with suggestions and tips on how they can be more productive. When this happens you know you are on the right track – you are creating engaged employees.
When you are dealing with someone who respects you, it makes you feel important and feeling important usually makes you feel happy too. This positive feedback loop creates outrageously awesome employees – employees who are happy and engaged.