Everyone has their own definition of the word respect. When talking about a person, you might admire them. When it’s a company, you may like the way they run their business or love the quality of their products. When it comes to a religion, you may be tolerant of other’s ideas. But as a business owner, how can you “Respect” your employees?
Don’t Think Negatively - You have hired a person to do their job, don’t think they aren’t just because they take a vacation day, a long lunch or an unexpected sick day. Respect that the person you pay is making good decisions for you.
Meetings - Everyone has them and nobody likes them. Respect your staff’s time. Just because it’s urgent to you doesn’t mean it can’t wait an hour or a day. Plan your meetings in advance and don’t just assume that if your employee is sitting at their desk they can be interrupted without creating some sort of havoc.
In Trouble - Sometimes you have to sit down and correct an employee’s attitude or behavior. As business owners, we almost all hate confrontation, but sometimes you cannot avoid it. Respect the fact that the person you are talking to is a grown up and makes mistakes, too. Talk factually and to the point. Don’t get caught up “in the weeds” and keep your tone level.
Firing - In the book Double Double, Cameron Herold talks about firing with dignity and respect. Don’t disgrace the person you have to let go. Don’t take the years of service they gave your company and make them meaningless with an off hand remark. Furthermore, don’t let others talk despairingly of the employee who was just let go.
In the last month, I have had to keep all four items above fresh in my mind, as I have been through each. Looking back, it has been hard, but I know whatever the outcome going forward, my employees will respect the decisions I had to make.