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Management Styles That Elevate vs. Devalue Employees

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Some bosses like to manage with a heavy hand, but that usually leads to employee frustration and dissatisfaction. Others' management styles are typically more productive and encourage and elevate workers, rather than devalue them. You must find a management style that fits your personality, increases worker productivity, and helps you establish a healthy, professional relationship with your employees.

Team-Oriented Workforce

An effective management style for elevating and encouraging staff is to create a team-centered, rather than a boss-centered, workforce. Even though you're their leader, you don't want to lord your superior position or your credentials over them. Create weekly meetings where everyone is encouraged to participate, ask employees for their input, give direction but don't micromanage and avoid lecturing or dictating goals and responsibilities. Have an open-door policy so employees know you are always available to discuss work-related issues.

Respectful Reprimands

Save employee reprimands until you can privately address unwanted behavior or work performance issues in your office. Criticizing, devaluing or rebuking employees in public settings are deflating and humiliating experiences. Your employee will likely feel like he can't face you or his coworkers again. Find time at the beginning of the day, end of the day or after hours, so other workers don't assume the employee is getting a good spanking from you. Craft your reprimand in a way that's firm and focused but offers hope for future growth and shows confidence in their capabilities.

Trust and Guidance

You don't want employees to feel like you have your hand in every project or assignment because you don't trust them to get the work done. As a result, you must let go and let them work without your constant oversight. Establish follow-up sessions to show your continued interest and ensure projects meet deadlines and client expectations. Most employees enjoy independence and don't want to be micromanaged but crave feedback from their managers. You must also show that you are trustworthy and follow through on your word and your commitments. Trust goes both ways.

Share the Glory

Employees often feel undervalued when they work hard on a project or assignment only to find they receive little or no credit for their efforts. Effective managers share the success of the company with their employees and credit them for accomplishing goals, meeting timelines and satisfying customers, patients or clients. When possible, offer bonuses, commissions, raises or promotions to reward hard-working, faithful employees. If funds aren't available to reward employees financially, host a free dinner, conduct an awards ceremony or verbally thank and praise workers for their strong efforts.


As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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