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The ability of an employer to earn respect from employees should not be taken for granted. For some employers, this ability can result from charisma alone, but for others, a lot of hard work is necessary. To employees, faith and trust in an employer are extremely important. These two components will go a long way in earning an employee's respect, but there are a number of other factors to consider.
For an employer to earn respect from an employee, he must understand that respect is a two-way street. Respect can only be granted if it is also given. An employee must feel as if she has some worth within a company's structure.
An employer should never treat a worker as if he is just a number, someone who is there to do the work and have no opinions. A lot of employers traditionally displayed no interest in the opinions of their workers. This type of thinking will no longer earn respect from today's workforce. It will only breed mistrust and resentment, and it will not make for a harmonious workplace.
In order to earn respect from an employee, an employer should not be afraid to get her hands dirty. This means that, from time to time, she should be seen to work side by side with workers. This practice breeds an environment of solidarity between employee and employer.
Today's savvy workforce are able to smell when something is not right a mile off. An employer who constantly says one thing and then does another has no chance when trying to earn respect. The employer should be seen as person of his word. If he says something, he should mean it and stick to it. Making false promises will do nothing for the employer's reputation, and word of mouth passes very quickly within a company.
One of the biggest obstacles to an employer gaining an employee's respect is the them-and-us factor. Employees should be treated as equals at all times. If possible, an employee/employer relationship should be on a first name basis. The employer should take an interest in the employee's development within the company. Employers should value each and every worker's individuality and contribution to the team.
In order to earn respect, an employer should also remember that it is the employee who is the important cog in the company. Without the employee, the company would come to a standstill. The employee is the worker who comes in every day and helps make the company a success. It will do nothing for an employee to see an employer driving a new Mercedes after she has cut that year's staff bonuses due to targets not being reached.
Trying to earn respect from an employee is often like walking a tightrope. It is practically impossible to keep every employee happy. Nevertheless, giving respect where it is due and treating employees fairly will go a long way when trying to earn respect in the workplace.
A boss has to be open and above-board with employees. He or she also should have clear expectations so people know how to present ideas and projects that will meet the company's needs and the boss's expectations.
If there are layoff or salary cut rumors, a boss needs to address these truthfully, and as soon as possible, even if it's just to say, "I haven't heard anything, but when I do, I will let you know." This tells the employees the boss is at least listening to their concerns. A boss always needs to keep in mind that his or her employees are human beings with lives and families, and may depend on that job to feed their families. Remember that, and acting accordingly, will go a long way toward building up respect in the office.
An employer should make it clear that he or she appreciates the work their employees do, and should make a point of thanking an employee for his or her work, particularly when they go above and beyond their job description.
Feeling unappreciated has to be the number one morale killer in an office. If an employee feels his or her efforts will not be appreciated no matter how well the job is done, the employee will eventually stop giving his or her best effort, because nothing will be appreciated and everything will be criticized anyway. This is deadly for morale and office harmony. The same is true if the boss shows favoritism to some employees. It's a bad situation.
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