Ask anyone in the workforce what they most desire from their superiors, and the answer is likely to be treated with dignity and respect.
In the workplace, over half of employees feel that they don’t regularly get respect from upper management. This is important to pay attention to because employees report that being treated with respect by leaders is more important than any other leader behavior.
However, showing respect is never limited to superiors. Everyone in the organization can, and should, show respect for others.
Whether you’re regularly saying good morning to your coworkers or cleaning up after yourself in the office kitchen, showing respect for others in the workplace is easy and it goes a long way. Here’s how, and why, you should be demonstrating this every day.
Tips For How to Demonstrate Respect in the Workplace
Respect comes in many forms, and they’re all fairly easy to demonstrate once you’ve made the commitment.
- Treat people how you’d like to be treated: with kindness, courtesy and politeness.
- Encourage other coworkers to share their valuable ideas.
- Actively listen to others. Never interrupt or put in your two cents before they’re finished.
- Use other people’s ideas often to increase productivity and efficiency.
- Don’t insult people or talk behind their back.
- Don’t nitpick, micromanage, criticize or demean others.
- Be aware of your tone, your body language, your expression and your demeanor during all interactions. Some people can detect the slightest hints of what seems like disrespect, even if you aren’t aware of it yourself.
- Treat people the same no matter their race, religion, age, etc. All people you interact with should be treated equally.
- Include all necessary coworkers in meetings, lunches and after work activities. Provide an equal opportunity for employees to participate in committees or improvement teams.
- Always praise more than you criticize. In addition, encourage employees to give praise to others where needed.
Implemented regularly at work, these respectful actions help ensure a happy, considerate and professional workplace.
Why Demonstrate Respect in the Workplace
Respect Contributes to Job Satisfaction
According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) in 2014, respectful treatment of all employees at all levels was rated as “very important” by 72 percent of those surveyed, making it the top contributor to overall employee job satisfaction.
In respectful workplaces, employees are inclined to work harder and stay productive. In workplaces with little or no respect, employees report more conflicts and misunderstandings and have lower attendance and engagement.
Respect Can Increase Employee Engagement
A recent Gallup study of over 350,000 American employees showed that only 30 percent were engaged with their work. One of the simplest strategies to combat this is to show respect for coworkers.
In a survey of more than 20,000 employees, Harvard Business Review found that respect was the top behavior that would lead to an increase in employee engagement.
When employees know they are respected by other team members, they are less stressed and more committed to their jobs. The same is true when an employee knows that upper management values and respects them and their work.
Respect Can Help to Create a Fair Workplace
When team members equally show respect for others, a sense of fairness is established and harassment, gossiping and negativity are minimized.
When upper management respects their employees, there’s no room for harassment or favoritism, which sets a good example for employees as well as allows them to feel equal to other coworkers.
Respect Can Reduce Stress
When employees know they’re respected, they can freely do their jobs without worry of being ridiculed or criticized. They can also relax and be themselves without the stress of feeling like they need to overwork themselves in order to prove their worth.
Respect Improves Collaboration
Have you ever noticed that big ideas often come out of collaborative meetings? A group of respected employees will naturally share ideas with each other in an effort to build relationships and improve workflow.
For employees, employers, and managers, the rules of respect are the same. Use these tips if you’re ready to take the next step toward building a stronger organizational culture.