The Most Effective Way To Get Respect From Your Staff

Jack had just returned from a management training programme. He had learned a lot, particularly from discussions he had had with other colleagues on the course. They had talked a lot about the concept of the manager as ‘facilitator’, as ‘servant’ and employees as “clients”.

Jack now faced his staff at their Monday morning meeting and decided to ask his “clients” what they needed from him to earn their respect and perform at their maximum.

He took notes and after the meeting mused thoughtfully over what he had written.

Shocked but inspired by their honesty and forthrightness Jack realised there were a number of practical actions he could take. Some were with regard to the relationship, treating them as valued people and not just units of production; and other actions more associated with achieving high performance and the actual job they do.

He noted what they had said and then wrote down what he could do to fulfil these expectations.

  1. Show me you value me as a person as well as valuing what I do.


Individuals are unique and I need to get to know them in their own individualistic and idiosyncratic way.

Find time to periodically chat by the coffee machine/water cooler to know more about my staff as individuals, without prying intrusively into their personal life.

Find out how they feel about their job, what do they like/dislike about what they do.

Listen more whole heartedly to their opinions and views and show them that I have understood what they have said.

Ask a lot more questions instead of invariably telling them what and how to do things. This way I can show that I value their ideas and believe in their ability to resolve problems and take on responsibility.

Demonstrate that their views do count by taking on board suggestions etc or letting them know if I don’t agree or can’t go along with what they are saying.

Keep my promises to them and do not agree to anything I don’t believe I can deliver.

Apply the ideas of win win – there is something in it for everyone in everything we do. An enormous win for all of us would be to treat each other as valuable individuals, all worthy of respect.

  1. Let me know I can trust what you say whether the news is good or bad:


Create a culture where I praise individuals and also confront issues of poor performance early when it arises so it does not grow into a big issue.

Trust comes from within first. In order to be positive about others I need first to be positive about myself.

My staff notice what I do. They notice when I walk in the morning how I am and this sets the tone for the day. I can choose how I start the day.

Most of my staff do their work without error and mistakes and I can take time out to compliment them on this. Staff give you more of what you genuinely praise, feel better about themselves and enjoy what they doing.

I need to focus on describing what people are doing or not doing that causes me and others to appreciate their work and less evaluation and judgement, such as ‘that was well done’ or ‘that wasn’t done very accurately’.

  1. Let me know that you have my best interests at heart.
  1. Let me know what is expected of me at work and be as clear as you can. When I fully understand I can release all my talent and motivation to succeed and enjoy what I am doing.

Give greater thought to clarify what I want, who needs more definition and who less when asking people to achieve tasks – SMART objectives and target setting will help highlight what success looks like and give greater certainty of definition for those who need it most.

What motivates me doesn’t necessarily motivate others, each of us has an individual motivational finger print

More regular updates with my staff to see how they are doing and whether they need any support – also an opportunity to recognise their efforts for work they have completed so far

5. Let me know how I am doing and review my progress. Give me praise and recognition and give me your guidance when I need to change what I am doing.

þ Need to delegate what I can to give responsibility and develop my staff. The 10 point plan acts as a useful guideline:

Identify the task – Decide what should be delegated – Identify the right person – Explain why you are delegating it to them – Specify the expected outcomes – Establish a target-completion date – Discuss how they may go about it – Identify the resources they will need – Decide how to monitor progress – Identify who else needs to be informed.

At the end of all this musing he quietly and confidently smiled to himself as he realised that he was already doing many of these things and that concentrating on any one or two would make a difference. Now he thought, ‘Where shall I start?’

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