Respect is reciprocal! Good workplace culture must insist on respect for every member of staff, irrespective of rank or designation. But respect is usually earned, not given because people’s actions are determined by what they see, hear or feel. A new employee can get respect at work by implementing the ten (10) tips outlined in this article.
The most important quality you must possess as a new employee who is looking to get respect at work is the ability to respect others. We often see the world the way we are, not the way it is. If respect for other people is not one of your strong moral values, you may have a hard time gaining the respect of your new colleagues.
First Things First:
As part of your job application process, you must have done your homework on the company. The information gathered should already give you an insight into the nature of and the prevalent culture in your new workplace.
Therefore, as much as possible, try to remember the names and faces of your new colleagues. Also take advantage of the company’s website and social media accounts for this. That way, you wouldn’t feel like a total stranger during your onboarding process. With the faces looking familiar, it is easier for you to smile at them and respond to small talks. This is one way a new employee can get respect at work.
Ways a New Employee Can Get Respect at Work
With experience comes growth and as you continue to climb your career ladder, your confidence levels would increase. There would come a time when your portfolio would get you the respect you need even before you walk into the room. For now, here are 10 simple ways you can easily get respect at work:
1. Make a good first impression
No one gets a second chance to create a good first impression. Don’t keep your best work dress for later, it may be too late then. Be sure that your presence in the room projects you as the exceptional professional that you are. However, don’t go overboard with anything, simplicity is the highest form of sophistication and simple colours always win.
Be at your best. Don’t save your best attitude for later. Practice greeting your new colleagues and get comfortable with introducing yourself. Your body language also sends strong signals. Your new colleagues are going to size you up, so come in your best size.
2. Be willing to make the first move
Don’t be the mountain that every Mohammed in your new workplace has to come to. You want to get respect at work, it is yours to earn and theirs to give, so be willing to make the first move.
Hence, strike a conversation with the guy adjacent to your table. Offer a thoughtful compliment. Smile at anyone who reaches out to the newbie. Introduce yourself to anyone you haven’t met before. Display a genuine interest in the activities and roles of as many people as you can. This shows you are a true professional, one to be respected.
3. Comply with rules
Get familiar with the rules as soon as you get in. The staff handbook provides an insight into this, be sure to read and digest them. There may be other unwritten rules that guide the actions of people within the organization, ask questions, and observe.
Even if people don’t follow the rules as they should, you cannot afford to join them. You are the fresh blood, your loyalty to the organization’s rules ought to be fresh and commendable. Come to work early, respond to emails appropriately and respect the organization’s reporting lines.
You simply cannot get respect at work, when you don’t follow the rules. It is only in the movies that rogues win respect, the heart of leadership, and gets promotions.
4. Listen more than you speak
One of the easiest ways to win people’s respect is to make them feel heard. You are new to the fold and certainly have great ideas, but be careful not to rub them on the face of your new colleagues.
They have been there longer than you, they understand how things work there and may not easily adapt to your new ideas. But by listening and validating their opinions with honesty, you make them receptive to your ideas. We all want to do better, but we hate to be told we are stupid.
5. Get involved with activities
As a new employee, resist the urge to stay glued to your workstation at the expense of joining your colleagues in other activities that have become part of the office culture.
As the new account officer at my second place of work, there was a lot of work to do – lots of old transactions to process and record, coupled with new requests. I got so engrossed with my work that I barely had time to connect with my new colleagues. The result was that most of them developed a wrong perception of me and I struggled with being part of conversations whenever we had general meetings – I knew my opinion wouldn’t count much.
Look, people cannot respect you if they don’t know you. If you want to get respect at work, you need to get involved, howbeit, within professional and acceptable boundaries.
6. Deliver on your tasks
This may seem obvious but needs to be emphasized. You were employed to fill a gap, you must fill that gap as much as you can. This is one of the most effective ways a new employee can get respect at work.
When your colleagues know they can rely on you to deliver your job and excellently so, you would get respect at work. If you fail at other things mentioned so far, you cannot afford to fail on this. People would forgive your introvertedness, but not your negligence or incompetence. Deliver on your tasks, promptly, efficiently, and excellently.
7. Choose your battles wisely
Cliques may exist, arguments would arise. It can even be tension between your department and another. You must learn to choose your battles wisely. Be careful not to take sides unreasonably. Through well-thought opinions at such times, a new employee can get respect at work.
Don’t get involved in banters you don’t understand their foundations. Before you speak, listen to understand first and be sure to ask questions where confused.
You have a long career ahead of you, don’t waste your time for learning and growth, doing trivial things. Try not to get involved in every activity. You want to get respect not, lose your identity. Know where to invest your loyalty and leave no one in doubt of your stand.
8. Know how to deal with criticism
You are not an island, you are not perfect. So, you would make mistakes from time to time and people would call you out. You must know to deal with criticism the right way. As a new employee and young professional, there is a lot you need to learn and some of these lessons would come in form of feedback – positive and negative.
Your good actions and intentions would also attract unfavorable responses from time to time, be open to them. Be the kind of employee who takes feedback without picking offense or harboring hate. When wrong, accept that you are and apologize.
9. Help others climb
As a new employee, your success or failure in your new organization is heavily tied to other people. One of the top mistakes managers make in managing other people is pushing other people under the bus. Those who rise at the expense of others are seen as wicked and selfish.
Between the colleague who rides on other people and the one who genuinely looks out for others, who would get your respect? Your answer to this question is the type of employee you should be.
10. Reduce your use of ‘I’
According to a report by the use, reducing your use of the word “I” makes people perceive you as a confident fellow. The report also shows the conclusions of James Pennebaker, a psychologist from the University of Texas who makes a living analyzing how people talk for hidden insight. James concludes that whoever uses the word “I” more in a conversation is usually the one with a lower social status.
Commit to doing the hard work of working on your self-confidence. This allows you to stay comfortable and confident.
Excessive use of the word “I” doesn’t also show teamwork. By using words that show you off as a confident team player, any new employee can get respect at work.
Actions You Can Take to Boost Your Confidence at Work
Take advantage of the tips shared in this article. Make a mental note of them and watch out for how you practice and apply them to real-life scenarios.
New and scared are not synonymous words. Just because you are new doesn’t make you less than anyone else. You trained hard to acquire the skills you possess, you scaled the interview process, and got the job! That has to count for something.
Don’t chase respect at the expense of your job. You don’t need superpowers to get respect at work. You simply need to be confident, humane, and committed to your work. Should you encounter difficult or envious colleagues who want to take you for a ride, speak to the human resources manager.
Finally, sow seeds of respect and you would reap the same. Speak courteously to others. Offer to help. Choose collaboration over competition. Apply the tips shared in this article and you would thrive. Congratulations on your new job and cheers to your success!
WRITTEN BY: Emenike Chijioke
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