How to Be a Manager Employees Look up To

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Management books love to invoke “leadership.” Unfortunately, for most of these, the term represents little more than a buzzword.


There’s a difference between leadership as a TED talk subject and the nitty-gritty day-to-day process of steering a team, with diverse skill levels and varied personalities, to success.


Winning the respect of your employees represents an important step in achieving real-world leadership. It isn’t just about ego. Securing the esteem of your workers might feel good, but it also makes for a better situation.


Everyone will be more efficient, more confident and more productive when you have universal respect. If your team doesn’t trust you and doesn’t recognize your abilities, they aren’t likely to follow your directions.


With that in mind, here are few steps you can take to inspire respect from your employees:


Start With Competency


Just like all the other members of the team, you have a job to do. Inspirational speeches are fine, and scheduling a party now and then can be fun, but the first step to gaining respect comes from getting your basic administrative duties done in a timely and efficient way.


Employees will appreciate the stability and will look to you as a model. Plus, your ability to take care of your business efficiently makes their lives easier. When you don’t get your work done, they feel it. And that will sap their respect for you.


Volunteer Yourself First


Sometimes a project requires additional resources to complete – late hours, time on weekends, etc. When these situations arise, make sure you’re first in line to make the sacrifice.


Don’t volunteer your workers for tasks you won’t help them perform. If workers sense a lack of commitment on your part, their commitment will start to wane accordingly. As will their opinions of you.


Listen to Your Team


Your workers are a key source of information and creative solutions. Open yourself up to them. A willingness to listen and respond positively to feedback will mark you as a caring and open-minded manager.


You might not take all, or even most, of your team’s suggestions. They might not be feasible or might counteract other standing corporate policies. But the basic act of listening will build a deeper relationship with your staff.


Shoot Straight


You’ll have to say “no” much more often than you say “yes.” That comes with the job. Some managers get gun-shy about giving a direct negative response, however, fearing that it will make them look like the villain.


Employees might be disappointed when you turn down a request. But they will be angry if you give the impression you can grant what their asking for, only to reverse positions later.


Be professional and constructive, but don’t equivocate in delivering bad news. Also, don’t try to obscure a decision to avoid complaints.


In short, shoot straight. Employees may not always like it in the moment, but they’ll respect you in the long run.



Building a meaningful relationship with your employees, marked by mutual trust and respect, becomes easier when you have great employees to start with. By partnering with a first-rate recruiting firm, like Qualified Staffing, you can assemble the perfect team to drive your long-term success.


Contact Qualified Staffing today to learn more.