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The importance of respect in a corporate organisation

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Sir: Written in 2008 to the management of Multimesh Broadcasting Company Ltd Port Harcourt of whose management I was Administrative Manager. Respect to self, managers and to colleagues is necessary for any business to grow well and succeed. Without the aforesaid, there cannot be respect to customers. A corporation’s relational culture makes or mars business for the establishment. Employees have to meet and constantly sustain the standards set by a firm. Respect makes people civil and responsible. Everyone should be treated with dignity and those in management must lead the charge for it is they who are responsible for creating the company’s culture whilst running the affairs of the company. Why do low-grade officers sometimes refuse to carry out instructions given by managers, why do others refuse to obey guidelines passed on by line managers, why is there total breakdown of respect for hierarchy?

The following recommendations even though not far-reaching may help to prevent the frosty relationship between top executives and subordinates.
  Managers should try to share in the responsibilities of subordinates; this will boost their image and earn them respect.
  They should engage in debriefing sessions often without the flaunting of rank in these sessions. The idea is to find out what is working well and what is not. Leadership is not about position and rank, it is about achieving the corporate mission of a business.
   Managers must take the sensible risk for subordinates, this may sound unreasonable, but that is one of the major responsibilities of management staff.
   Managers must be good arbiters of justice and never take sides in any misunderstanding between colleagues.
   Managers must be authoritative and flexible but never weak. They should be unpredictable. Never indulge in staff.
   Delegate duties very well and accept responsibility, never delegate jobs you would not be confident in doing yourself.
   A manager must solve problems proactively and never take delight in passing the buck to someone or another department for lapses he/she could have avoided.
  Managers do not have the luxury of wasting precious time on inconsequential matters. Never encourage subordinates to gossip about their colleagues in your office.
   Married executives should avoid getting involved too often in friendly chatter with female colleagues. This is risky for reputation as they may misconstrue the intention of a male-colleague. Be mindful of the fact that it is better to work than to court people.
   Try to complain objectively.
    Managers must walk their talk and not pay lip service to the welfare of staff members.
    Do not be like other managers who are guilty of stealing subordinates’ ideas and claiming them as theirs before upper management.

Respect must be earned. Titles, degrees and fame do not confer respect. The success of any business lies in its human resources, the witty acumen of managers and how managers can create a good working environment, promote mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues so that everyone can work harmoniously for the growth of the business. Look to bad managers where there is a lack of progress, breakdown of ethics, moral norms and communication and for emphasis respect, in an establishment.
Simon Abah wrote from Abuja.

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