Everyone wants to be appreciated. So, if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.
– Mary Kay Ash, Mary Kay Cosmetics.
What’s in this article
- What’s the #1 thing employees expect from you?
- My go-to strategy for keeping employees happy and engaged
- What is the RESPECT model?
- An infographic explaining the RESPECT model for employee engagement
- The RESPECT model – decoded for you
- Need help with your employee engagement program?
What’s the #1 thing you expect from friends and family?
Most people I ask this question to say, respect.
An employees’ expectation from their workplace is no different. Employees want to feel valued.
After all, people spend 8 to 9 hours at work each day. To lead a happy and fulfilling life outside of work, it is important that they have a positive environment at work.
What’s your go-to strategy for keeping your employees happy and engaged?
I recently learned about the RESPECT model and found it very provoking.
I tried it with my own colleagues at d’frens. I also recommended it to some of my clients. It worked wonders for us and I’m happy to share it with you.
So, what is the RESPECT model?
As the name suggests, the basic ideology behind the RESPECT model is – always respect your employees. For all the hard work they put in, you ought to make them feel valued.
Let me explain this in detail
1. Recognise their efforts
Success and failure is not always in our hands. Sometimes, you can do everything right and still fail. Sometimes, you succeed without trying too much.
As the person in charge of growth, it’s easy to get carried away by the results and forget about the effort your colleagues put in.
Irrespective of the outcome, always appreciate your employees’ hard work. A simple text saying ‘Good job on X project,’ goes a long way in motivating them.
When an employee goes out of their way to do something, always acknowledge them. If someone is learning a new skill, encourage them.
The key is to let them know that it isn’t only the results that matter. Their efforts are equally appreciated.
2. Empower them to make decisions
How do you even expect your employees to do something phenomenal if you never give them the power to do it?
To ensure success, it’s important that you let them be the primary decision makers for important things related to their project.
It’s great to be aware of what they’re doing and how things are working for them. But NEVER micro-manage. This is the biggest reason employees end up hating their bosses.
Also read: Are you making these 5 leadership mistakes
Ask them for updates. Assure them that you’re there, should they need your help. But never suffocate them with too much interference.
3. Always support them
The worst thing you can do to your employees is not bail them out when they’re in trouble. Even if you warned them. Or advised against it.
It’s important for them to know that you’re on their side. Always.
This builds trust and you earn your employees’ respect.
These are the two very important qualities of a successful professional relationship.
4. Treat them like partners.
Not just as employees.
Ever noticed how Starbucks and Zomato calls employees as partners? It’s because that’s what they really are.
Do you think either of these brands would’ve been as successful as they are if their partners didn’t work tirelessly to deliver a quality service?
Most probably not.
Also read: The culture case study of Starbucks
Employees aren’t just people you pay to get work done. They’re the pillars of your organisation. They’re ultimately the people who drive your success.
5. Set clear expectations from both parties
Set clear expectations from both ends. Ask your employees what they expect from you. And let them know what your expectations from them are.
Communicate regularly. Ask for feedback.
If you feel employees aren’t comfortable sharing honest views about something with you, give them the option of sharing it anonymously.
This way, they’ll know that their feedback is being heard.
And when you address the problems they shared anonymously, you gain their trust. This also gives them the confidence to talk to you directly, next time.
6. Be kind and considerate towards your employees
A friend once shared a story with me, about someone who was fired from his job because his performance was constantly falling.
What’s sad was that neither the HR, nor the employee’s manager, ever talked to him about this.
They did give him several warnings because he had been working with the company for five years.
But every time, they kept blaming him and getting mad at him for being lazy and careless about work.
No one cared to ask him why he wasn’t able to focus.
It turned out, he was going through a terrible time at home.
He had an ailing mother to look after. His wife was constantly fighting with him over this. And they were on the verge of a divorce.
He wasn’t the type to share his personal problems without being asked. So, he never talked to his colleagues about it.
What he actually needed, at a testing time like this, was the support from his employer.
Instead, they fired him.
This was a massive eye-opener for me. The biggest lesson I learnt is to always be kind and considerate towards your employees.
Ever since I heard this story, I stopped making assumptions about my employees.
I always ask them what’s wrong. And try to find out a solution that works for both of us.
7. Trust them to make the right decision
Trust your employees to make the right decision. You may not always agree on everything.
Let them take risks. If they are really passionate about something, trust their decision.
You may be the boss, but that doesn’t mean you know-it-all.
Often, the employee working with a client would know a better way to deal with a situation than you would.
This is true for internal issues, too. Team mates working with one another know better on how to solve issues between them.
If you do decide to intervene, your role should only be that of a mediator. Not the judge.
You haven’t hired the best employees in the world to make them do what you think is right.
You’ve hired them for their smartness. It’s only fair that you give them a chance to use it.
People often believe that industry knowledge is the most important thing that’ll help you succeed.
The context for acting on knowledge is with people. This is why I believe that people skills are equally important.
Surprisingly, it is also a skill that most professionals lack.
But with the right training, it can be learnt easily.
Are you struggling to keep employees engaged?
d’frens helps companies like yours organise team building activities, experiential learning and internal communication solutions to keep employees engaged and motivated.
If you’re looking to pep up your employee engagement program, get in touch with us.
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