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Want to Be a Better Leader? Here are 13 Ways to Lead Today's Workforce Leadership is about showing others how to achieve success and then standing back and letting them shine.

By Larry Jones

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The workplace continues to evolve into a more collaborative, ethical and trustworthy place for employees. Leaders must become equally diligent in earning respect from colleagues. Many workplace leaders feel that they intrinsically are owed respect from employees simply because of their position of authority. However, this thought process has led to serious problems within the workplace.

The new generation of workers expects a culture where they are respected, nurtured and given an opportunity to grow. When this expectation is not met, turnover numbers skyrocket, and the company experiences a severe drop in productivity.

Natural leaders want to be liked by their employees. Some leaders who take that approach face confusion and pushback about their process. Yet, these leaders enjoy a much higher retention rate than leaders who don't share the same care and consideration for their employees. Leaders can easily earn their respect by caring for employees and their families. Consider a few ways you can earn the respect of your employees.

Related: How to Lead a Multi-Generational Workforce in the New Normal

Lead by example

The best executives lead their employees by example. This includes how hard you work, the effort you put into your job how you contribute to the team overall. While you may need to step up and lead your team in a more direct way when the project calls for it, most of the time, you should lead from within the team, working alongside them.

Additionally, giving the respect that your workers deserve is an excellent way to lead by example. Fairly treating your workers shows how much you value them. Listening to any issues or challenges they face and addressing them are also great ways to showcase your respect for them. When you treat your team well, they will, in turn, respect you.

Make consistency a priority

Respected leaders understand the importance of consistency. Don't change your leadership style from day to day. Set up reasonable expectations for your employees. They should know how you handle issues and what to expect once one pops up. Build trust through consistency.

Own up to your mistakes

When you make a mistake, admit to it. The best leaders own their humanness and aren't afraid to admit it to their employees. When you own up to your mistakes and do what you can to fix them, your employees will respect you for it.

Related: 3 Ways Owning Your Mistakes Will Make You Powerful

Seek opinions from employees & stick to your decisions

The best leaders must find the balance between being pushovers whom their employees don't respect and being respectful of their employees' opinions. Your openness to your employee's opinions shows that you're willing to put the best ideas first, regardless of who came up with them. Be firm yet flexible, and your employees will respect you more.

Honor your team

Find out how your employees like to be recognized and then reward them. A reward is a powerful way to display your respect for your team, and finding out how they prefer to be rewarded deepens their respect for you.

Listen to feedback

Employees are naturally suspicious about offering feedback on your leadership style, which is why it's up to you to seek and listen to feedback. Employee feedback should be scheduled, ask direct questions, and address concerns thoughtfully. This process builds respect between you and your team.

Avoid micromanagement

It's important to delegate tasks and trust your employees to complete them. The key to gaining respect from your employees is to trust them. Of course, be sure to build confidence by letting your team know you're available if they need support but avoid standing over their shoulder the entire time.

Related: Micromanagement Is Murder: So Stop Killing Your Employees

Build relationships

Don't just tell your employees that you're there for them. Show them. When an issue arises, you should shoulder the blame for the problem instead of placing the blame on your employees. Simultaneously, if you receive praise for a project, share that with your team. A reciprocal back and forth helps you build relationships with your employees. You can strengthen this relationship by asking them about their interests, hobbies, and life outside of work. Expressing personal interests helps build trust to show they are valuable to you.

Invest in benefits for your team

Employers are uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of their employees by providing high-quality benefits. Do your research, look for the most in-demand benefits available for your team, and then invest in them.

Encourage your employees

Launching a new career or starting a new job can be stressful. Providing constructive feedback and encouragement to your team helps them gain confidence and ensures they know how to complete their job duties. Additionally, being transparent about what employees can expect at your company improves their experience with your company.

Avoid creating teacher's pets

Playing favorites at the office is a dangerous game. Instead, show your employees the same level of support, including how you give out assignments and perks. Once employees see that you don't play favorites and that your office is a level playing field, they'll develop even more trust in you.

Related: 6 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Be Better Teachers

Minimize stress

Reduce the stress your team members feel in a couple of ways. First, find ways to create a more peaceful work environment by extending deadlines or providing extra support for them when possible. Second, you can invest in mental health counseling to ensure your employees have the resources to reduce stress.

Build leadership skills for a new generation

You don't have to agree with every opinion in this article, but you should consider how your leadership role fits within the expectations held by the new generation of workers. Simply working on your listening and communication skills will have a powerful effect on your team. Put your employees at the center of your business, and watch it thrive.

Even minor adjustments will make your business a more attractive place to work, reducing turnover ratios in the process. Keep your business moving in the right direction by becoming the leader your employees deserve.

Larry Jones

CEO of TelaCare Health

Larry D. Jones serves as CEO at TelaCare Health, Inc., named Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America. With over 25 years of experience in healthcare technology, Mr. Jones leads TelaCare in its mission to make healthcare convenient and affordable so people can live their healthiest lives.

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