In my previous blog, “The Making of a Good Manager – Good Managers Lead with Loyalty”, I wrote that it is imperative that managers be role models of what loyalty and integrity look and behave like if they want to cultivate employees who are productive, loyal, and who work cohesively. However, it is also important that managers lead with Respect and be role models of Respect as well if they want the same in return.
Respect – is a way of treating or thinking about something or someone in a correct or decent manner. A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.
Good Managers will exemplify good character by having respect for their superior/s, their colleagues and equally as important, their team/staff. They will appreciate and treat their staff professionally at all times regardless of title or position. They will remember that everyone’s effort and role has an impact on the success of the organization, whether great or small.
I took the liberty to break-down my perspective of the word respect as it relates to managers’ relationship with their staff on all levels - R.E.S.P.E.C.T – (R)emembering, (E)veryone’s, (S)ervice, (P)urpose, (E)ffort, (C)ontribution and (T)alent matters and attributes to the success of the company. It also matters to the individual staff members that they are treated properly and their daily work is recognized and appreciated. Additionally, it matters when they give feedback about a situation that they will not be taken for granted nor will their recommendation/s be ignored even if not implemented.
It is extremely important for management to understand the role R.E.S.P.E.C.T plays in the strength of an organization. An article in Harvard Business Review titled Motivating People by Christine Porath states that over 54% percent of employees don’t feel respected by their boss – this leads to employees being less engaged, less focused, and less productive and (as a result, there), is more turnover and greater health-care costs.
In fact, I hear all too often colleagues complaining that they want to leave their job because they don’t feel respected or appreciated for their contribution/s. I also witnessed good workers becoming disengaged and others becoming combative with management because they felt disrespected and embarrassed by the way management treated them.
This is disheartening because when people accept a job offer, it’s usually because they admire what the position offers so they start off very excited about the opportunity. In addition, most people are hired because the hiring manager usually admires and respects the contribution and compatibility that the newly hired staff can bring to the team. So what happened to cause the break-down? I suspect, along the way, management possibly lost sight of the negative impact that the lack of respect or the positive impact that having respect has on employees’ willingness to perform.
Managers - If you want your staff to bring their A-game to work daily and stay fully engaged you can’t take them for granted. Nor can you disrespect them or deem the work that they contribute as insignificant. It is important that staff feels admired for their contribution/s and appreciated for a job well done as much as possible. A simple “thank you” or a “pat on the back” can have a huge positive impact on staff and can go a long way if done genuinely. However, rewarding staff’s efforts, when possible, with a raise, a day off, a perk, a bonus or something in addition to their regular paycheck can go even further. Sidebar: Never hold back rewarding your staff - the return on the investment can be priceless.
Secondly, if managers want their staff to respect them and be productive they have to respect their staff even if the staff seems to be unproductive. As the two sayings go “respect is a two-way street” - “if you want respect you have to give respect” and other say earn it. I add - If you want productive workers to stay productive and unproductive workers to become more productive you have to R.E.S.P.E.C.T and acknowledge their efforts. Even the unproductive staff has to feel their efforts matter, however small, to feel motivated. A good manager will even respect an unproductive staff member enough to speak to them properly about the lack of performance and to take the time to listen in order to find out the underlining cause. Sad to say the lack of productivity more likely than not will have something to do with poor management and feeling unrewarded and respected.
Bottom Line, good managers leading with R.E.S.P.E.C.T will ensure that they always strive to maintain a positive working environment by embracing the practice of “Mutual Trust – Mutual Respect – Mutual Freedom of Expression (a combination of openness and listening)” as James Flaherty states in his book titled Evoking Excellence in Others.
My Thoughts - Think about it
Yvonne Ponce, Professional Leadership, and Career Consultant
Stay tuned for more of The Making of a Good Manager
See previous post: The Making of a Good Manager Part I (Integrity) & Part II (Loyalty)