As an employee retention speaker, the toughest groups I have to address are senior level leaders when I speak about the area of respect.  That is because when it comes to not giving people proper respect, I find the worst offenders are VP’s, Presidents, General Managers and Owners.  Yep.  I hate to say it but it’s as if power and authority causes them to feel like they have the right to act however they please. Maybe that’s why many people in these positions are viewed as arbitrary jerks.  If you are a senior level executive or owner reading this, your people will use less kind terms to describe you in the hallway or when talking about you at home!

Here is a simple test of whether or not your people respect you.  If you are pretty sure the first thing your people talk about is you when they get home at night, you have a problem.  People will vent immediately to their spouse, significant other or the person they are sitting with in the bar about a lousy leader.  If it’s you they are talking about first thing…you are probably not viewed very highly!

Your job as a leader is to set the tone.  The simplest ways to set the tone and show respect are to not bark out orders, avoid sarcasm, say “hello”, say “good morning”, “please”, “thank you”, etc.  You get the idea.  When working as an employee retention trainer, I have my students go to work and keep a tally sheet of how many times they use common courtesies.  It generally scares them into changing their behavior when they see the lack of marks on the tally sheet.

Common courtesies are a habit.  Get into the habit of using them.  If you do this as part of your employee retention strategies, you will be amazed at the positive results you obtain and, after all, as a leader, getting results is how you are judged and your employee retention strategies is one of those areas.