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For better workplace, respect your employees

It doesn't take a lot of perks or fancy consultants to make your company a great place to work. A genuine interest in others, giving employees the responsibility and power to get their jobs done, and giving them respect go a long way to employee satisfaction. Here are five ways managers can create great places to work. L.M. Sixel, Houston Chronicle

Respect your employees enough to tell them where they stand. Are they doing a good job? Are they meeting expectations? Employees want to know.

If they're not meeting deadlines or sales quotas, respect means giving those employees the bad news, too. And tell them early enough so they can try to turn the situation around.

Too many bosses hope that employees who aren't on the favored list will eventually get the message from small slights and leave. But often those clues aren't clear and it's important to be up front even though those conversations can be really difficult.

Be kind. It's so simple but a kind word here and there is really appreciated, yet is so often overlooked in our busy working world.

Kindness also means showing interest in others. Ask the people you work with how their kids are doing, whether they're newborns or high schoolers touring colleges. It's not nosy, it's thoughtful.

If they do something great, recognize it. A note is nice. So is recognition in a meeting. Don't hoard compliments.

There's also a self-serving reason to be kind: Employees tend to treat your customers the same way they're treated at work.

Give employees a challenge. Nothing creates boredom faster than a company culture that discourages innovation.

Companies that offer a challenging environment tend to attract better employees. That means asking employees what they think and empowering them to get their jobs done. And don't wait until someone has one foot out the door.

Train your front-line supervisors. You might look at the organizational chart and figure the folks at the top are really important. But chances are it's the front-line supervisors who are most critical. They're the linchpin employees, the key folks who make sure production goals are met and safety procedures are followed.

When employees think about whom they work for, they don't think about the CEO. They think about their supervisor. And nothing sours a job faster than a bad boss.

A good front-line supervisor can motivate employees to do a great job; a bad one can cause employees to just show up to work every day and go through the motions. Teach your supervisors how to gain the respect of the employees they're leading, how to establish expectations and, if they've been promoted from the shop floor as many front-line managers are, how to navigate their relationship with their former peers.

Remember employees have a life outside the office. That means not scheduling meetings at 6 p.m. as parents are trying to run out the door to pick up kids from day care. And it means being understanding when employees offer to work late or come in early so they can make it to their kids' school plays or sporting events.

Good bosses don't make faces when they get such requests. Good bosses know that most employees will more than make up for the privilege of a flexible schedule.

For better workplace, respect your employees 12/07/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:38pm]
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