Spread The Learning

Do You Want to Treat Employees With Respect?

Every managers wants to treat employees with respect, don’t they? In reality, it ‘s hard to treat them with respect as you are focusing on the result and behaviour. Sometimes, it is important to focus on results because your team is evaluated based on the outcome of the process. The questions we want to ask ourselves is, why can’t we treat employees with respect and maximise their performance? What is it that I’ missing as a manager?

Learn the Mindset of Respect

People will respect who has respect for you. If you do treat your employees with respect, most likely they will not respect you although they may see your effort to overcome tough issues as a manager. The first thing you need to start as a leader is to set the mindset that “I respect them first”. If you want your employees to respect you as a leader, you must learn how to show respect to others from your side first. There is some behaviour you can learn to show respect from your side. Remember that your followers are going to observe your behaviour and decide whether or not to follow you. So let’s make sure that we start the very first step from below actions.

How To Treat Your Employees With Respect

Here are actions to show respect to your employees. You should understand that this requires some practice. Unless you are working alone, you will have at least some interaction with your employee. No matter what level they are, you should take the following actions to make sure you show them that you have respect for them. Don’t be emotional. Especially when you have negative emotions, don’t take steps immediately because the actions you decide may not be a right decision. When negative emotions are high, then your intelligence goes down. Keep this in mind and let’s see how we can learn to treat your employees with respect.

1. Ask Questions and Listen Before You Talk

When you have more knowledge and experience than your employees, you may want to teach them the best way to deal with daily work. But before you start to teach or give advice to them do you understand the cause of the problem that your employees are facing? Reflect back with how your conversation starts with your team. In most cases, you are talking more than you are listening.

Talking Is Your Self-Satisfaction

In the past, I used to be talking and giving a lot of advice to my team members. I believed that that information where what they wanted. In a service industry like consulting, it is also important to give information to team members and lead them to know how to think and what to describe as a core message. As we intend to lead others, we think that it is necessary to talk and guide them by explaining how to do it. Sometimes you just keep talking and you are satisfied with how much you talked.

Always Start With Questions

So whenever you are trying to give advice or feedback, start with a question first. Listen carefully to what words they use, their facial expressions and body language. They may not be in an ordinary state, and may be very nervous even to come up to you to confess the situation. Understand the entire message that person is giving you then you will learn more about the situation.

What Questions Can I Ask?

One of the key questions I ask when my followers are “What was the situation, please describe the background”. “How did you feel when you experienced that?.” We are all humans, and there are always some emotions on the events that occur in our daily work. Listen to how they describe the situation, and the feeling they have now. You can also write down some of the key questions you want to ask your members when they are facing the problem. Prepare yourself to put questions of them so that you are prepared to show respect.

2. Don’t Deny What They Say

Impact of Rejection Is Larger Than You Think

Once you deny your employees opinion, although your idea might be appropriate, you must understand the impact is significant from denying. Your followers may feel that you don’t have trust in them. They may also feel that they are not trusted enough to make some points. “What is a terrifying thing in life?” When we ask this question, many people will say “It is to be rejected by other”. I think this is an honest answer. There are many cases people are being denied in business meetings, even though being rejected one of the most stressful things in life. The reason why denying has a significant impact on the relationship is that when you deny people, they will first feel negative that you did not show the respect to listen to them. Ultimately, they will not listen carefully to the advice or alternative opinion you may have.

How Do I Not Deny And Give Alternative Opinion?

If these situations continue, they will lose respect for you and at the end they will lose faith in you. You must understand the degree of impact that denying words have and don’t use these words unless it is necessary. It is still possible to agree in the beginning to show respect and to continue to provide different opinion so that your follower will also listen to your views in a better state. Then it is easier for them to accept your idea because you have shown respect by agreeing. Avoid using words like “No” and “But” then you will see the difference in their reaction to you.

3. Learn How To Praise

Difficulty of Praising

Praising employees is imperative. It will give your employees positive emotions about what they have done and achieve. On the other hand, why is it so difficult to praise for managers? One of the managers told me about a story that he cannot find what to praise about his employee. When you are working with your staff every single day, you might think that it is normal for people to do what they are supposed to do. That can be one factor of not praising.

How Can I Find Something To Praise For My Employees?

You have to understand that routine work is what they are told to do. Managers should appreciate them for their continuous work every single day. If you only have the mindset to appreciate when employees have done something special, then you will fall in a whole who cannot respect people by honouring them. If you observe your employees carefully, you will know better about the work that they have done. Why do you hesitate to praise? You may also think that if you appreciate, they will not make an effort to improve. This is also not true. Employees will be motivated to work and improve once they know you will praise them. It shows that you acknowledge the work they have done, and it will lead to building trust. So take a moment to reflect yourself. When was the last time you praised your employees? If you haven’t done for awhile, why don’t you do it and see how they react.

4. Don’t set your standards

The Better You Are, The Higher Standards You Have

When you become a manager, your organisation qualify you because of the capability of an individual to perform in that area that you manage. You might have more skills and experience compared to your staff. Then eventually you will set your expectation on how people should work and perform based on your standard. Sometimes having your standard is important. That is there reason why your management wants you to train people to be like you skilled, talented and capable. However, as a manager, you must understand the roles, level and criteria to assess their performance. Your organisation may have already set some standards based on the grades or band of each employee. These are part of human capital management, and I would recommend you to modify those to each employee to set the expectation. Informal communication about how to improve their performance or skills is always a good way to understand where they are and what they might be struggling.

Make Clear Standards For Your Employees

If you set a standard from your perspective and assess everything from your rules, then it will be difficult to know how much they have improved and you might end up doing those things I have listed up in this blog post. Setting high standards may occur especially in a service industry, where you need skills to perform. Some people may think that sometimes it is better to have your standards and have you follows to do whatever it takes to reach that goal.

You may also insist that In an apprentice system, which merchants or technicians are required to follow the master for several years, they set very high standard for the trainees. Even in these cases, the rules are very clear, and trainees understand what it takes to achieve this goal. Therefore the rules must be clear as well as consistent so that your follower will know what is expected. Having just your standards and not visually explaining about them will make your followers feel that you are just saying based on your current emotions. Make it clear, write them down and explain. Discuss with your employee about the standards and get their feedback. Seems easy, but most managers do not do this.

5. Show Appreciation

Appreciation Is The Key For Respect

The last point is to appreciate your employee. Your employees are doing their best with the resources they have, and although there may be gaps in how they perform, they are doing their best. You must have the mindset of appreciation in each work they complete, small things they have done for you. Showing appreciation for small things can be the key factor to treat employees with respect.

Think About The Process, Not Just Results

There is one story about a manager who was very successful but had many failures as sales when he was young. He had to deal with huge amount of customer complaints, which now he thinks that made him stronger. For years he couldn’t achieve his sales target, and his boss criticised him. When he became a manager, he set a high standard to reach the result for his team. One sales staff was struggling to find the way to sell and even to get opportunities. However, the manager saw that he was doing his best based on what he has now. Therefore rather than criticising his performance, he appreciated the effort. He worked together and took the time to support him. His mindset is “When you have a team, help the guys who are not up to your expectation. High performers will do what they need to do. Low performers are the ones who needs help”. He saw his team as a total unit to perform sales and gave appreciation to all the effort that the team is giving for him.

Heart of Appreciation

Appreciation is not just saying “Thank you”. Instead, you must have the heart of appreciation. Just observe your employees for a while and think about what they have done for you. As a result, you will feel their effort and contribution to the daily work. If you feel this then most likely you will have the heart of appreciation. Then your employees will recognise your appreciation because the words you use consciously and unconsciously will be different from when you don’t have the heart of appreciation. Show the heart of appreication to treat employees with respect. I’m quite sure they will follow you.


I hope you all learned something out of how to treat employees with respect. Remember the important thing is to do the things you have learned. If you have the mind to make changes, I’m quite sure you will do it.

If you like this article, please like our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter. We will also provide learning videos on our YouTube Channel. Please leave comment for any feedback.

Spread The Learning