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Respecting Your Employees is Good Business

It seems obvious that treating your employees respectfully is a good idea. What I have found in many firms, though, is that while lip service abounds, partner behavior often differs from the company line about “team”, “family,” and all that.

If you are not demonstrating respect for your employees and colleagues, your firm may suffer high turnover. Any managing partner will agree that personnel problems and turnover are among the thorniest issues they deal with. Solving these problems takes time away from the fun and profitable work, like bringing in new clients and finding new ways to help the clients you already have.

Your employees are a lot like your clients: they want you to demonstrate that you are glad they are part of your day-to-day world. Employees want to know that they add value to the firm and to you. If you or your partners are behaving in ways that indicate otherwise, you may be costing your firm money.

It’s easy to demonstrate respect: look people in the eye when you talk to them, ask what they think and listen to their response, keep your office door open as much as you possibly can, and greet an employee before issuing your first instructions of the day. Doing these little things will go a long way toward demonstrating respect for what your employees do for your firm every day. With any luck, it will also decrease turnover and, ultimately, improve profitability.

© Melinda Guillemette 2009