What is Respect in the Workplace?

Respect is an active process of nonjudgmentally engaging people from all backgrounds with the intent to increasing your awareness and your effectiveness. It is demonstrated in a manner that esteems both yourself self and those with whom you interact.

Regardless of how you demonstrate respect, it should be considered the norm in the workplace as it creates a good work environment, which increases has numerous benefits, including increased productivity.

As we see in many of the respect and sensitivity training sessions we lead, a major problem many companies are facing these days is a lack of understanding of the concept of respect in the workplace. Respect is an important element in every workplace as it helps employees to know that they and their efforts are appreciated. 

Employees value two different types of respect:

  • Respect as a person, which should be shared equally with all team members. This respect is ensured by courtesy and the creation of a space where each member of the group is considered valuable.
  • Respect for professional achievement, which lies in the recognition of individual employees for quality tasks performed. This is how a manager can highlight employees who have exceeded expectations. It is a confirmation that each employee has unique strengths and talents.

What is the Importance of Respect in the Workplace? (Explained)

Once you understand why respect is important, you can begin to take steps to create a more positive work environment in which everyone feels respected and they show respect for others.

Some of the benefits of respect in the workplace are as follows:

Respect Reduces Stress in the Workplace

Respect Reduces Stress

Reducing stress is especially important for the health of employees in the workplace. Stress-free employees feel more comfortable sharing ideas and working with colleagues to achieve their goals. Increased respect and reduced stress have both mental and physical effects on workers’ health.

Respect in the Workplace Increases Productivity and Collaboration

Respect Increases Productivity and Collaboration

Showing respect to colleagues encourages innovative thinking and increased productivity as employees know that their contributions are valued. Such workplaces become an opportunity for everyone to learn from each other, creating an environment in which both employees and managers can develop their skills. Once your employees start collaborating, cross-training and informal learning can be done across all areas of your company.

employees-are-satisfied-in-the workplace-due-to-the-respect-given-to-them

Employee Satisfaction

In a workplace where employees feel respected, they are more likely to be happy with their work and leave at the end of the day feeling proud of what they’ve done. This sense of satisfaction from employees can benefit employers in the long run since satisfied employees usually want to stay with companies that value them. Satisfied employees are more likely to apply for internal promotions and lead their teams with the same respect and care that they value. Lower employee turnover leads to less revenue and time spent on training and onboarding.

Respect Creates Fair Environment in the Workplace

Respect Creates a Fair Environment

One of the most important things an employer can offer is the opportunity for employees to showcase their skills and knowledge regardless of their background. Respect prevents people from playing favorites, and giving everyone a chance to be heard. Every employee has the same voice as their colleagues, and all ideas are appreciated, no matter who they come from. In the right environment, employees can thrive if allowed to contribute equitably.

Learn the tools to promote the types of respectful behaviors in your company that are critical to employee engagement and business success.

Register now for our “Connecting With Respect” webinar [DATE]

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9 Ways to Show Respect to Colleagues in the Workplace

  1. Communicate in a polite, humble manner, use a friendly, warm tone, speak a language that is understandable and accessible to all.

  2. Allow employees to speak up and share their thoughts.

  3. Before expressing your point of view, always listen to the opinion of team members, and only then share your thoughts on a particular topic.

  4. Never interrupt others during a conversation; management should not allow employees to talk in a rude or sarcastic tone.

  5. Never scold your team members in front of everyone. Speak to employees about any problems “face to face”. Remember, nothing is as offensive as discussing the problems or mistakes of a subordinate in presence of all the employees of the company. By discussing the problems personally, you also show respect towards employees.

  6. Praise your employees for quality work, for any success in their work, even the smallest way! Praise employees for the desire to develop further and encourage it in every possible way. Know how to see and celebrate the positive in each   employee.

  7. Treat everyone equally. Unfortunately, bosses often make the mistake of singling out favorites and ignoring certain people. Separation is nothing more than a manifestation of disrespect for certain people. Such behavior leads to an unhealthy environment in the team, the appearance of envious people, and the division of people.

  8. Invite all employees to meetings within the company so that everyone is aware of what is happening, how the company is developing, what problems there are, and plans for the future. Provide an opportunity to speak and discuss the problems employees are facing. This will make it clear that the opinion of all employees without exception is important in the company.

How to Create a Respectful Environment in the Workplace? (8 Ways to Do it).

Do not Gossip in the Workplace

If the news is not confirmed, it is inappropriate to provoke discussion of the topic simply based on rumors. This seemingly harmless act can cause worrisome psychological damage to a person, and should be avoided.

Do not use Profanity

Even if the intention is good, do not use harsh language or verbally insult someone for any purpose.

Greet People in the Workplace

Even when busy, it is important to still find time to respond to someone’s greeting. Ignoring a colleague’s greeting, or walking past them without smiling can be perceived as rude.

Show Appreciation for Employee Contributions

Appreciating the contribution of employees when they perform well, and giving due recognition to their efforts can help to create a more respectful enviroment. When employees are attributed, their motivation is increased, and if their hard work is not appreciated or attributed, they will be disheartened and become less productive.

Do Not Discriminate Against People

Creating prejudices against a person based on their race, gender, age, intelligence, and appearance should not be permitted in the workplace.

Do not be Insensitive to Employee Needs

Try to effectively address the feelings and needs of others, such as giving a colleague sick leave or providing maternity leave. This makes employees happy and satisfied with their workplace.

Practice Strong Communication Skills

Do not ignore employee’s phone calls and emails & do not disclose the contents of confidential emails to people outside of the organization.

Defend Employees

Defend employees in front of company management when necessary. If certain mistakes were made in your department, in no case shift the blame on employees in a conversation with management. Some department heads very often try to shield themselves personally and blame a particular employee. If you strive to create a strong and friendly team, learn how to intercede with the leadership, and only later solve the problem individually.

Benefits of Giving Respect to Each other at the Workplace 

  1. Respect in the workplace increases motivation and productivity among employees.

  2. It helps to maintain the a positive work environment when employees perceive that they are treated equally without any discrimination.

  3. A respectful environment helps employees to rationally deal with an unmanageable situation without losing their patience.

  4. A respectful environment reduces workplace stress, problems, and conflicts. It helps in improving communication and teamwork.

  5. Respect helps to promote a positive culture, which increases employee satisfaction as employees feel happy and motivated while working in such an environment.

The Effects of Lack of Respect at the Workplace

Conversely, a lack of respect can do real damage. 80% of employees who are not respected in the workplace spend significant time thinking about poor managerial attitudes, and 48% deliberately reduce their performance. Also, disrespect is often spread among colleagues and transferred to clients.

Disrespect leads directly to a serious loss of productivity, as a huge amount of time is spent on conflicts or trying to resolve them. Examples of this may be rude behavior, inappropriate tone, inappropriate activities such as being late for appointments, sending rude and unwanted emails to colleagues, gossiping, manipulating clients and colleagues with misinformation, and wasting time surfing the internet, instead of work. At its worst, disrespect can result in job termination or harassment lawsuits.

Higher Turnover Due to Lack of Respect in the Workplace

Many people would prefer to leave high-paying, prestigious jobs for seemingly lesser opportunities just because they are unhappy in a hostile environment. Recent Gallup polls have found that about 50 percent of workers have at one time quit their jobs because of bad relationships with managers while only about 22 percent of workers quit because of money. Wages, bonuses, and benefits are not worth the stress and associated health damage they cause.

Impact of a Respectful Work Environment on Business Goals

Respectful employees work more effectively and come up with better and unique ideas that increase the market share and revenue of an organization.

  1. Respect helps in building strong teamwork which is necessary for generating profit in an organization.

  2. A strong and positive relationship with clients is necessary as it helps in increasing revenue and a respectful work environment helps employees to work effectively to achieve maximum client satisfaction.

  3. A respectful work environment helps employees to share their ideas and concepts without any fear and such interactive workplaces can easily stand out in a competitive market.

  4. Respect for the workplace will help improve communication between colleagues, improve teamwork, and reduce employee stress.

9 Inspirational Quotes about Respect Which will Help Bring Positivity in the Workplace

“If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” — Maya Angelou

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” — Albert Einstein

“Treat everyone with respect and kindness. Period. No exceptions.” — Kiana Tom

Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” — Maya Angelou

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.” — Bruce Lee

“Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.” — R.G. Risch

“We are not A TEAM because we work together. WE ARE a team because we respect, trust, and care for each other.” (Vala Afshar)

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another has to say.” ― Bryant McGill

Learn the tools to promote the types of respectful behaviors in your company that are critical to employee engagement and business success.

Register now for our “Connecting With Respect” webinar [DATE]

Register Now