The First Blog in a Series of 3: How You Treat Your Staff

In business, it’s easy to get wrapped up in sales, revenues and profits. Although these are critical components in every successful company, sometimes a predominant focus in these areas causes business owners to lose sight of their behaviour and personal conduct in positions of authority. But maintaining respect is key – particularly among people you work with every day.

Employees and Respect: It’s a Double-Edged Sword

Respect is not a one-way street. In order to establish a healthy working relationship, not only must you show respect to your staff members but they must also show respect to you. And the latter is dependent on the former. As a business owner, it’s up to you to set the stage and create a precedent.

Your Business is Only As Good As the People Who Run It

Department managers, cashiers, sales representative, inventory stockers, receptionists – whatever the position, it’s the person behind the title who makes the role. Employees who feel respected and appreciated will have a greater investment in the companies they work for, leading to an improved attitude and better performance. On the other hand, employees who sense that they are undervalued, tend to feel less empowered and lack the willingness to put in the effort necessary to achieve great results in their roles.

Why a Team is Better Than a Hierarchy

A team approach carries with it a tremendous amount of power because it enables collaboration, free-flowing ideas and conversations and autonomy from all members. Employees who know they’re part of a team, understand that their every move contributes to the final outcome.

In a hierarchical arrangement, every level in the hierarchy is disconnected from every other. Those lower in the hierarchy – even though they may very well be the ones who deal with your customers directly on a daily basis – rarely feel invested in the goals and objectives of the company. Although they may have much to offer, the motivation to give their “all” carries with it no reward, and therefore, no incentive.

Lead from Beside, Not in Front

Do you think of yourself as far superior to your staff members? In your daily business activities, do you make it clear that you’re the “boss” and they’re your “employees”? This style of leadership does not foster a team approach and rather segregates you from the people you’re depending on to achieve specific goals and objectives. Instead, try taking a few steps back. Stand beside your employees. Show them respect, encourage open conversation, let them know that what they do and what they say matters.

Dedication and Loyalty

The more dedicated and loyal your staff:

  • The lower your rate of turnover
  • The higher your productivity
  • The better your company’s overall morale
  • The more pleasant the work environment
  • The lower your costs (related to HR, recruitment, hiring and firing)

You don’t have to be disrespectful to be successful. Value your staff members, take a fresh approach, welcome their ideas and input. And then evaluate the situation over time. Monitor changes and track results. In the long run, you’re bound to see improved working relationships, greater employee engagement and better overall results.

Respect is a powerful thing.

Use it.

Keep an eye out next week for the following blog in this series: How You Treat Your Customers.