Earning respect from employees is a process that takes time to achieve and can be quickly lost if not maintained. A high level of respect between management and employees is vital to the success of the company and to employee satisfaction, loyalty and productivity.
Be a Role Model
Be an example to employees. Be consistent and follow through on your promises. If you can't, then clearly explain why and don't just give a vague reason or ignore the employee. If you make mistakes, then own up to them. Honesty, dependability, hard work and strong ethics are all positive traits of a good leader that inspire employee loyalty and respect.
Communication Is Key
Communicate effectively with employees to build trust and respect between management and subordinates. Think dialogue and not monologue when communicating with employees. Accept employee input, including questions, comments and criticisms. Keep employees informed with regular company meetings to discuss status updates on projects, future goals and any new developments with the company. Don't keep employees guessing by providing vague updates and dismissive comments; this type of behavior only fosters distrust and gossip among workers.
"There's No 'I' in Team"
Build a team environment. You may have heard the expression "There's no 'I' in team but there's an 'M' and an 'E!'" This type of attitude puts a divide between management and employees, giving the impression to workers that management's opinion is the only opinion. Respect employees and make workers feel like their job position and opinion matters. Foster a company environment where everyone feels like family. Engage employees with team-building activities, company parties and employee days. Show workers that management values each and every person to instill company loyalty and respect.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Reward employees for outstanding performances. Implement an employee of the month reward by giving a plaque or certificate to employees who go above and beyond the scope of regular duties. Employees feel motivated and inspired when management acknowledges personal work achievements. Give credit where credit is due; there's no faster way to lose employee loyalty and respect than by taking the credit for an employee's idea or success.