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How Do I Demonstrate Respect for My Employees?

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Finding ways to demonstrate the respect you feel for your employees can benefit your company in many ways. Making workers feel valued is an effective way to boost morale, for example. Also, treating your employees with dignity creates a culture of respect, making your employees more likely to be respectful toward each other and customers.

Praise Hard Work

Praise your employees when they do well. Be specific so they know your praise is sincere and that you’re paying attention to their progress. Being involved and attentive shows workers you care. The end results of praise are a positive self-image and better performance, according to the book “Leadership with Infotrac: Theory, Application and Skill Development,” by Robert N. Lussier and Christopher F. Achua.

Avoid Negative Criticism

It’s easy to slip into negative criticism, especially during stressful times, but don’t demean or disparage employees when they make mistakes. That sort of disrespectful behavior lowers morale without achieving anything worthwhile. A much more effective approach is to offer constructive criticism, focusing on how you can help your employees avoid future mistakes rather than assigning blame.

Encourage Development

Help your employees develop themselves professionally. Offering advanced training, one-on-one mentoring and subsidized education, for example, help employees develop skills and gain experience. As employees improve, their self-respect will increase. Also, making their careers a priority shows that you respect their needs.

Include Everyone

Offering rewards to top performers can help motivate your staff to work harder, but you don’t want to create a negative atmosphere by always favoring top workers over others. Be inclusive with rewards to ensure everyone on the team feels respected. For instance, create team-based rewards for group efforts. As an added benefit, combining team- and individual-based rewards motivates workers more than either kind alone, according to the book “Group Dynamics for Teams,” by Daniel Levi.

Encourage Feedback

Soliciting input from your employees can generate fresh ideas and solutions. It also tells employees you respect their viewpoints. For example, if your company decides productivity must increase, ask your employees for input on how you might achieve this goal. Perhaps flexible scheduling or a new reward system could help employees increase the amount of work they get done. Or maybe removing barriers to productivity -- for example, outdated or malfunctioning equipment -- might make the workplace more efficient. Listen to employees' concerns and use their feedback to improve the workplace.


Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. His work has appeared in the online editions of the "Houston Chronicle" and "USA Today," among other outlets. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis.

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