If you want to be effective as a manager, you need your staff to take you seriously. This can be a challenge for new CEOs, starting entrepreneurs and business owners who are not used to being in a leadership role. No matter how long you’ve been in management, you need the respect of your employees. When you want them to take you seriously, the following tips can help.
1. Separate business life from personal life
It’s important for your employees to see you as the boss and think of you in that role, so don’t bring too much of your personal life into that relationship. Don’t regale employees with tales of your dating adventures. Don’t have a beer chugging contest after work. Don’t spend hours on personal phone calls (especially when people can hear you). Nobody will take you as seriously if they witness these parts of your personal life, so keep that away from your business persona. As their boss, you have to be authoritative with your employees. It’s important for them to see you as an example and not as their friend.
2. Set an example with time
You want your employees to show up for work on time, and put in a full and productive work day. You need to set a good example on this. If you take two-hour lunches every day, they may think it’s okay for them to start stretching their midday breaks, as well. If you cut out of the office at three o’clock on Fridays, then don’t be surprised if they start leaving early, too. Set a good example, and demonstrate the behavior you want to encourage.
3. Don’t pass the buck
Leaders get a lot of credit when things go well, and they have to take responsibility when things go badly, too. Don’t think you can pass the buck and shift the blame to your employees. What they do on your watch is a direct reflection of your management ability. If workers need more training, better supervision or even reassignment to other duties, it’s your job to make that happen.
4. Treat them like employees, not servants
Unless this is your personal assistant, remember that they are employees of the company, not your personal servants. They’re at work to accomplish corporate objectives. Don’t expect them to pick up your dry cleaning or buy your theater tickets. It’s demeaning, and shows that you don’t value their real job. Organize weekly meetings and talk freely about your employees’ concerns. Treat them like humans; everyone has problems, so it’s up to you – the boss – to fix them.
5. Keep confidential information to yourself
As a manager, you’re privy to certain confidential information. This can include company plans, personnel issues, and budget and salary numbers. When information is shared with you on a confidential basis, you need to keep it that way. Sharing private information is a big no-no. It’s equally important for employers to educate employees on the perils of giving up too much company information to others. As a boss and company owner, you need your people to trust you. That can only be achieved if your relationship is strictly professional and respectful.
6. Help your team out
When there’s a looming deadline and you’re asking your team to put in some overtime hours, then it really helps if you’re willing to do some extra work, too. If you’re out playing golf all weekend while they’re slaving away to finish the project on time, it can foster resentment. See what you can do to chip in and help out. Put in some extra effort yourself, and make it a team effort. They’ll respect the fact that you’re willing to go the extra mile, and they’ll take you more seriously the next time you ask for that extra effort.
If you want your employees to take you seriously, you have to act like a human being. Even though you are in charge, try not to abuse your position. Today’s working environment is all about communication, interaction and cooperation. People like to connect at the workplace because mutual ideas foster great ideas – and great ideas lead to good business.
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