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How to Gain Respect in the Workplace: Leadership Tips That Earn Employees’ Respect

Maria Petit

Where is the line between respect and fear? Certainly, it’s a blurred one! And in the workplace, respect is something that has to be earned. When it comes to the workplace, many people think respect is all about being in a position of authority. However, this isn’t always the case. Employees respect leaders who are genuine and honest with them and who care about their well-being. 

Yes, respect is more along the lines of kindness and openness than authority itself. It is built on trust and appreciation, not intimidation. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips on how you can gain respect from your employees and create a more positive work environment.

Stay tuned!

“Respect” is a term like “empathy,” “love,” and “compassion” that everyone accepts denotes a positive quality, yet it doesn’t always mean the same for everyone. Let’s review a definition!

Respect is a feeling of admiration or deference for a person, animal, institution, concept, or object. It can be earned through acts of kindness or bravery, or it can be given freely without any expectation of repayment. 

Demands for respect could frequently be met by establishing interpersonal bonds based on the acknowledgment of one another as equals

When respect is given, it creates an emotional bond that can lead to increased cooperation and understanding. Additionally, respect is often reciprocal, meaning that when we show respect to others, they are more likely to return the favor. Ultimately, respect is about valuing others and treating them with consideration and esteem. It is an essential ingredient in any healthy relationship.

There are different ways respect can manifest in the workplace. For some workers, respect might mean being treated fairly and with consideration. Others might feel respected when their opinions are solicited and valued or when they’re given opportunities to grow professionally. 

What all these definitions of respect have in common is the idea of treating others the way you would want to be treated. That’s the golden rule! 

Why Respect in the Workplace?

Respect is a fundamental value that should be present in the workplace. To reaffirm this premise, according to responders in a poll conducted by Christine Porath of Georgetown University of nearly 20,000 employees worldwide, respect was listed as the most crucial leadership behavior.

Respectful employees are more likely to communicate effectively and work together harmoniously. They are also less likely to engage in negative behaviors such as gossiping or backstabbing. When respect is present in the workplace, it can lead to increased creativity and innovation. 

As well, a culture of respect makes employees feel comfortable sharing new ideas and taking risks when they know that their colleagues and superiors will treat them with consideration. Employees who feel respected are more likely to be engaged with their work and committed to their employer. 

A culture of respect can also increase creativity and innovation, as well as teamwork and collaboration. Additionally, respect can lead to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism and turnover. In truth, respect is simply good for business as it helps create a positive reputation and attract top talent. 

However, there is no magic wand to promote respect out of nowhere. A culture of respect has to be worked on daily. Therefore, to create a respect-filled workplace, leaders need to set the tone and lead by example. 

Let’s review how!

How to Gain Respect in the Workplace: Leadership Tips That Earn Employees’ Respect

It can be difficult to earn respect, especially in the workplace. Here are some tips on how you can gain respect from your employees and create a more positive work environment:

If we follow the premise that respect is a two way-road, before wanting to gain respect as a leader, ask yourself: 

  • Do my employees feel respected? 
  • Do my employees feel like their voices are heard? 
  • Do they feel valued and appreciated? 
  • Do they feel like they have opportunities to grow and develop professionally? 

If you answered no to any of these questions, don’t worry! There’s room for improvement.

Authority Does Not Always Mean Respect

First of all, respect is not simply given to those in positions of authority. Just because someone has been with the company for a longer time or has a higher position than others, doesn’t mean they will be respected by their employees. In fact, many times, it’s the opposite. 

If an authority figure belittles, threatens, or mistreats those beneath them, respect will be lost.  Respect is a two-way street: if you want your employees to respect you as leaders, you must first show respect for them.

Likewise, if employees are constantly challenging authority or breaking rules, respect will also be lost. For respect to be present in the workplace, both sides need to be willing to work together and show respect for one another. 

Show Confidence in Your Ability to Lead

Back in the Roman Empire era, warriors trusted their leaders implicitly. They knew they were being led by brave and intelligent commanders!

Therefore, to gain respect, you need to show confidence in your ability to lead. If you don’t believe in yourself, your employees won’t either. Leaders who are confident in their abilities can take risks and make decisions without being afraid of the consequences. 

This means being secure in your decision-making, being able to handle criticism, and being able to delegate tasks confidently

Confident leaders inspire conviction in those around them and create an environment where respect can flourish. On the other hand, leaders who lack confidence tend to micromanage and be overbearing, which will only breed resentment from employees. 

Practice essential leadership such as the ones below!

Be a Good Listener

Listening is a skill that is often underrated. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to sacrifice quality listening to simply get the information we need and move on. 

One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to actively listen to your employees. Showing that you’re interested in what they have to say and are willing to consider their suggestions will go a long way in gaining respect. 

Active listening shows that you respect what others have to say and are interested in hearing more. It’s also an important skill for managing conflict and building consensus

Act on Your Employee’s Suggestions

Imagine both you and your employees spent most of the morning talking about the company; they gave you a list of issues to solve or just suggestions for them never to be taken into account!

Your employees have likely worked hard to summarize those for you, so one way to show that you respect their judgment: act on their suggestions. After all, they are the ones who are on the front lines, dealing with customers and clients day in and day out. 

They know what works and what doesn’t, and they have ideas about how to improve the workplace

When you take the time to listen to their suggestions and then act on them, it sends a strong message that you respect their opinion and value their input. In today’s competitive marketplace, happy and engaged employees are essential for success. 

Encourage an Open-Door Policy

An open-door policy is a way of doing business in which the doors to a leader’s office are literally and figuratively open to employees. The policy signals that the leader is approachable and available to discuss concerns or give feedback. 

An open-door policy fosters two-way communication and shows employees that their voices are heard

It also gives employees a sense of ownership over the company’s direction and builds trust between leaders and employees. While an open-door policy can’t solve all workplace problems, it does show respect for employees and create an environment where respect can flourish.

Their Success is Your Success

As a leader, you need to walk your talk! If you are implementing an open-door policy, make sure it is a real, tangible strategy, not just for aesthetics like the “leader” below.

As a leader, your success is ultimately dependent on the success of your team. If they’re not successful, you’re not successful. 

Showing respect for your employees and their ability to do their job well is one way to foster a sense of ownership and responsibility for their work. Encouraging them to take pride in their work and celebrating their successes sends a strong message that you respect them and value their contribution to the company. 

Encourage Open Communication

Read this! It may sound groundbreaking… But what if you actually TALK with your employees?

Open communication is key in any relationship, and the employer-employee relationship is no different. If you want respect from your employees, you need to create an environment where they feel comfortable communicating with you. 

This means being approachable and available when they need to talk to you. It also means being transparent with them about company decisions, changes, etc. Employees who feel like they’re in the dark will become wary of you and the company you represent.

Apologize and Own Your Mistakes

Leaders are human too, and we all make mistakes. What sets great leaders apart is their ability to own their mistakes and learn from them. 

When you make a mistake, apologize to your employees

Show them that you’re willing to take responsibility for your actions and that you’re open to feedback. This will show them that you respect their opinion and value their input. 

Great leaders know that admitting their mistakes is a sign of strength, not weakness. It takes courage to stand up in front of your team and say, “I was wrong.” But doing so shows respect for your employees and builds trust between you and them. 

Be Fair and Consistent With Your Employees

Thoughtful leaders are fair and consistent with their employees. They treat everyone equally and don’t play favorites. They also follow through on their promises and hold employees accountable for their actions. 

This type of leader creates an environment of trust, respect, and cooperation. Employees know what to expect from their leader and feel comfortable coming to them with concerns or suggestions. 

Being fair and consistent doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with your employees. But it does mean treating them with respect and showing them that you value their contribution to the company. 

Be Loyal to the Company Culture

Respect starts at the top, and as a leader, you need to respect your company’s culture. This means being an advocate for the company’s values and mission. It also means setting the tone for how employees should behave. 

If you want respect from your employees, you need to show them that you respect the company they work for. This will create a sense of loyalty and pride in the company that will extend to its employees. 

When you respect your company’s culture, it shows in everything you do. From the way you treat customers to the way you interact with other employees, your actions speak louder than words. 

Respect is Earned, Not Given

Let’s say you are a new manager in the company. Will you expect your employees to respect you right away? We are not implying you have to tolerate rude behavior, but can respect be earned so easily? Respect takes time, and effort, and a bit of strategy too! 

Earning respect from your employer requires hard work and dedication. It is not something that is given simply because you have been with the company for a long time or have a certain title

You can’t simply demand respect from your employees. It’s something you have to earn. By following the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to gaining the respect of your employees. And once you have their respect, you’ll be able to create a more productive and positive work environment for everyone. 

Remember that respect is a two-way street! We hope you enjoyed our article, don’t hesitate to stay tuned for more engaging blog posts like this one!

-The Monitask Team

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