As a supervisor, one of your main goals should be to create a strong organizational culture with highly engaged and dedicated employees. You want motivated employees that respect you and are loyal to the company. Despite many years of research on employee motivation, many organizations are still developing and executing traditional rewards programs that encourage competition, but actually demotivate employees. These promotions and extra perks can lead to increased performance, but do not lead to long-term loyalty.

So, what does work? Believe it or not, the easiest way to gain respect from your employees is to show your respect for them.  Here are a few ways you can do so.

Communicate Expectations.
Employees won’t succeed at meeting your expectations if they were never communicated in the first place. Be clear about what you expect. Delegate tasks, set goals, and review performance on a regular basis. If someone isn’t meeting expectations, give them specific information on how they can improve. You won’t respect employees until they meet your expectations, and they can’t meet expectations if they don’t know what is expected.

Recognize Achievements.
Frequently thank employees and acknowledge their contribution to the team.  By giving verbal recognition, you’ll show your team how much you really appreciate their hard work.  A simple thank you can go a long way.

Empower with Tools.
Give employees the resources they need to do their job.  Provide necessary training to make sure they understand what needs to be done and do it right.  You can’t expect outstanding work if your employees aren’t equipped with the correct tools, both physically and mentally.  If you take the time to empower your employees, they’ll want to exceed your expectations.

Foster a Collaborative Environment.
Even though you’re in a position of power, it’s important to keep your ego in check.  Regarding employees as equals, rather than minions, shows you respect them as individuals and as employees.  Employees are motivated by managers that have an open-door policy and put in as much effort to the organizational goals as they do.

Give Feedback Regularly.
Daily feedback is a great, positive reinforcement that lets employees know you care about what they’re doing. The best supervisors are those that coach their employees and serve as mentors.  Show employees that you value their work and care about their career development, and they’ll show you respect.

Be Nice.
In the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day tasks, it’s easy to forget that your employees are people with lives outside of the office.  Ask a question about how a child is doing or comment on a favorite sports team’s win when you pass by an employee in the hall.  This only takes seconds but employees will take note that you remembered something important to them.  Everyone appreciates kindness.

Build Trust.
You hired a particular candidate because you trusted that they could do the job.  Give them the opportunity to prove that you made the right decision by allowing them to make decisions and the space to do the work. Micromanaging won’t demonstrate that you have faith in your employees’ skills, abilities, or talents. Providing them with new opportunities and challenging their skill sets will.

The more effort you put into respecting your employees, the more respect you’ll receive in return.  For more tips on how to motivate and retain employees, check out the Tips for The Workplace section on the RealStreet Staffing site. RealStreet Staffing offers professional recruiting expertise in the architectural, construction, and engineering communities. Contact us today to see how we can help with any of your hiring needs.

I have worked with RealStreet for the past five years to provide supplemental staffing for two federal government contracts. It has been a great partnership. I find RealStreet to be attentive and responsive to our needs, reliable, and they consistently find great people that fit what we need for multiple roles on two different programs.

Kevin T. Fitzpatrick, PMP, Peer Review Program Manager

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