Fancy dinners, chocolates, and heartfelt sentiments may go a long way with significant others on Valentine's Day, but your employees want to feel appreciated in different ways. Here are two must-haves for great employee relationships.

1. Respect.

Respect must be earned, but your employees should never feel like they're constantly wanting it from you. Take time to bridge artificial gaps that exist based on title differences alone. Get to know what interests they have outside the office. Ask about their families. Understand what motivates them.

For example, not every employee enjoys a public display of kudos for a job well done, but some do. Know how every individual likes to receive recognition, and they'll feel respected.

2. Autonomy.

Resist the urge to micro-manage every aspect of a project and you'll be encouraging creativity, hard work, and a sense of real accomplishment. When you delegate tasks to your team members, you show that you trust them, and you also gain more time for your tasks and goals. Will someone else do your work exactly how you would have done it? It's not likely, and as a leader you should be excited by that prospect.

Published on: Feb 14, 2019