10 Ways To Develop Respect And Loyalty In The Workplace

How to develop respect and loyalty in the workplace or office is a crucial part of being an effective manager or business owner. Whether you have some elements of success and want to nurture them further, or are looking for a complete overhaul of company culture; read these 10 tips.

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Here are our 10 ways to develop respect and loyalty in the workplace. Below the list is further explanation and advice on each area. Follow these tips:

  1. Lead By Example
  2. Be Honest And Transparent
  3. Be Consistent
  4. Nurture Potential (Don’t Fight It)
  5. Create A Rewarding Atmosphere
  6. Defend The Team
  7. Show Respect To The Person, Not Just The Employee
  8. Avoid Micro-Managing
  9. Communicate Well & Regularly
  10. Build A Future

1. Lead By Example

What This Means

The importance of being able to see your managers and other superiors in the workplace are able to do what they ask of you, is of major importance to employees. Not just in being able to work long hours or perform menial aspects of work, but by seeing senior employees deliver results and work hard.

Granted, a lot of the work you put into the company may go unseen – those long weekends and evenings, long after other employees have finished and gone home – or take place in a different format to less senior positions – by attending tiresome networking events or offering hospitality to favoured clients, for example.

But the crucial aspect of this is that it goes largely unseen. If you are struggling to inspire trust and loyalty in your workforce, it means you need to be more explicit in your leading by example.

How To Do It

Make a concerted effort to work in the office more regularly.

Show your presence and work ethic in amongst your staff and colleagues, rather than taking the opportunity to work from home or outside of office hours. This is important because, whilst many employees may know your position means you work in a different way to junior staff and you bear a lot of other intangible stresses (not least, such as being responsible for said junior employee’s wages), if other aspects of the business are not going well – including results or morale – then senior employees, who aren’t seen around the office all too often, can lose respect.

Be there more often. Be more visible. And work hard in front of your colleagues. This will show you are a team player, just as much as every other employee.

 

2. Be Honest And Transparent

What This Means

Being able to openly discuss what you are working on, what your and the company’s goals are and what you and the other senior employees are working on. This doesn’t have to be anything officially released on company letterhead; it can be discussed over a kettle reaching the boil or at the dinner table during lunch.

Informally being able to talk and chat with other colleagues is a great way for a business to build a respectful and loyal culture. If a junior employee or trainee is feeling stressed over a work related issue – no matter how trivial to more experienced colleagues – the fact that they can talk to their colleagues – any of them – about their issue is a sure fire sign that you’re working in an open and honest environment.

How To Do It

If you are having an early finish today, because you didn’t get back from representing the company at a trade show and evening meal event in London until 1am last night and had to be in town to meet the bank manager and accountant at 9am, this morning; say so.

If you can see one of your colleagues, who you don’t necessarily know too well personally, is struggling with something; find out if you can help at all. Or simply offer to take a quick task off their plate (even if it’s just making a cup of tea or putting something in to photocopy) so they can have one less distraction.

You are employing intelligent and experienced adults in your workforce, so treat them as equals in this respect. This will foster a whole new level of respect across the business as those who understand the demands of senior managers, directors and business owners will either want to work hard to reach your level or will be happy to maintain their healthier work-life balance, safe in the knowledge that everyone is part of the same team.

 

3. Be Consistent

What This Means

This relates to being consistent in your approach to how you treat staff members: how you talk to them and you distribute work amongst them.

There should be no favourites and there should be no special rewards afforded due to extra-curricular friendships or circumstances. I’m sure everyone has come across a business where somebody feels as though they have been overlooked for a reward or promotion and it turns out the beneficiary’s children attend the same school as the boss, or they’re both season ticket holders at the same sports club.

How To Do It

Simply just everybody on their own merit and treat them accordingly. Speak fairly and and equally to all of your colleagues and be considerate of other’s interpretations of you spending a prolonged period talking about the weekend’s match with those who are also interested at the start of a meeting.

 

4. Nurture Potential (Don’t Fight It)

What This Means

Potential in the company should be encouraged into further growth.  More senior employees should not be wary of less senior colleagues showing incredible potential, but they should instead be looked to for guidance and nurturing.

Working as two parts in the same system delivers greater results and this is the message that should be communicated to both parties (See Points 2 & 9).

How To Do It

Give temporarily increased responsibilities and let promising employees try new things in as safe (as possible) an environment, without ramifications if it goes wrong. Offer training resources and the chance to shadow more experienced staff.

Something that the business and private industry sectors can often learn from the education sector is the willingness to encourage and welcome Continuous Professional Development of peers. If you can communicate that the business is helping potentially great employees grow, it will inspire loyalty and trust between both parties involved.

 

5. Create A Rewarding Atmosphere

What This Means

Creating a culture and environment which leaves employees feeling part of a productive and worthwhile machine. Rewarded by feedback from peers and bosses and job satisfaction, rather than just working for a salary.

How To Do It

Look at changing your company culture which, granted, is no easy exercise. But implementing small, frequent, non-financial rewards for different employees or teams, voted for by the workforce, is a great way. Ask for weekly or monthly nominations and have the most senior employee in the company or the previous winner decide who is the current period’s winner.

Also, running events which promote a healthy worklife balance as part of the normal company culture can help establish a healthy atmosphere which helps increase job satisfaction and the feeling of being rewarded by being at work. Things like an extended company lunch or barbecue as a reward for a successful quarter, for example, will help give a little recovery time as the pace slows for an hour or two. It’s also a good time for the business to communicate its message to employees about where things are heading in the future.

 

6. Defend The Team

What This Means

Managers looking out for and protecting their staff in the light of extra work demands or disappointing results. And especially when the team comes under any unfair criticism from clients, directors or any other parties.

How To Do It

It should be a matter of course and not need to be thought about. Though it shouldn’t be an automatic occurrence, if an employee has repeatedly made mistakes and constantly gets defended by the boss, it will only eat away at any trust in authority as the management will appear weak.

 

7. Show Respect To The Person, Not Just The Employee

What This Means

Remembering the fact that employees have lives and concerns outside of the office. A whole world of issues could be affecting how an employee performs at work, from mental health issues to a poorly child, and anything else in between.

How To Do It

Be considerate of the fact that, legally, all employees have the right to formally ask for flexible working arrangements if it does not impact their ability to work productively for the business. The company is not obliged to accept the proposed flexibility just because it is achievable, but it does need to be seriously considered.

Also, this is symptomatic of a company which sees its employees as people rather than numbers on a spreadsheet. A little respect for what people have going on elsewhere in their lives very often translates into a more productive and loyal employee in the long run.

 

8. Avoid Micro-Managing

What This Means

If Point 7 alludes to giving staff a little freedom to get the job done at their own pace, when possible, Point 8 closely advises practising the art of delegation. An old adage, “The art of successful management is learning how to delegate” is largely true, because it means that staff won’t be micro-managed.

Micro-managing just leaves staff feeling as though they cannot be trusted. And staff who cannot be trusted will look to work elsewhere and not be loyal to their employer.

How To Do It

Set goals and deadlines rather than rules and methods. Suggest ways and means rather than prescribing them. And always let staff deviate and experiment in how they work (safety permitting, obviously) for as long as they continue achieving results.

Don’t have managers constantly checking in on and monitoring how work is completed because this will undermine the trust between manager and employee.

 

9. Communicate Well & Regularly

What This Means

Issuing company updates which actually have purpose and meaning, even if it is just an update of the state of play as things stand. Taking the time to update staff with what the “powers that be” are working on and where they (the employees) sit in the bigger picture is rewarding and keeps staff feeling included.

How To Do It

Add a regular company update into the calendar, even if there are no big topics or events to report. Though, if this is the case, resort to personal news regarding employees or make more of what the company is working towards in the long run.

Senior staff should also look to talk and communicate with more junior staff on a personal level too. This will help establish an ethos that it is fine to talk and confide with your colleagues in a healthy and trusting environment.

 

10. Build A Future

What This Means

Signaling to staff members and clients that the company is prepared to invest in the future. This signals that employees can trust the company is not going anywhere any time soon so they are free to invest their loyalty in the business as a safe bet.

How To Do It

Employment and investment into the infrastructure of the business are the biggest signals to staff that the business is certain of its and their future. New full time staff are a major commitment as a company grows; so this translates as a symbol that the future is bright.

Investing in infrastructure such as a new office, a refurbishment of existing property or a whole load of new furniture for the office is another major signal that the company is doing well and expects to keep doing so for a good while yet. If the company can trust its employees enough to invest in resources and the office,  the employees will feel they are in a position to trust the business.

 

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If you like the idea of inspiring your workforce to be more trusting and loyal to the business by refreshing your furniture, do it simply by looking at our simple guide to buying furniture.

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