If you ask most business owners, “What is the most important thing in business?” Most owners would say, “money”. If you ask most employees that question, most would say “respect ”.
In fact, in many business surveys done, money ranks third or lower by employees. In other recent surveys, 91% of employees who feel valued at their jobs are motivated to do their best, versus 37% of those who don’t feel valued are not motivated to do their best.
So, the domino effect in business occurs when employees don’t feel appreciated and the result is a lack of mutual respect.
How to demonstrate mutual respect in the workplace:
1. Listen to your employees
You would think this goes without saying, but one of the best ways to practice mutual respect in the workplace is to ensure an open-door policy in which managers listen to their employees. In this sense, employees should feel empowered to bring forward ideas and concerns to their managers.
2. Act on your employees’ suggestions
It can be difficult sometimes for employees to talk to managers for fear of backlash. Beyond simply listening to employees, demonstrating respect means actually acting on what they suggest.
3.Give timely praise on a job well done
This is especially true for millennials in the workplace. Studies show that millennials prefer to communicate regularly and get feedback from their managers. That feedback can, of course, be positive from time to time. In short, give praise where praise is due!
4. Share the companies mission, vision, goals and objectives
Building a culture of mutual respect starts with having respect at the heart of your business. By sharing and perpetuating your company mission, vision, goals and objectives with your employees (and beyond that, your clients) in everything you do will ensure that people are treated as you would like.
5. Learn about your employees professional and personal goals
One of the best ways to show your respect is by getting to know your employees on a deeper level, rather than just interacting lightly during the day-to-day. Get to know what their motivations and goals are both at work and at home. By knowing this, you’ll not only be able to make their work more meaningful but you’ll also learn how best to communicate with them. In return, they’ll get to know you a little better too.
6. Celebrate workplace milestones
People who work together and achieve together are typically more likely to respect each other! When your company or individual teams hit milestones, give them a moment to celebrate. Show your appreciation for their hard work and allow them to feel a part of something bigger than their individual role.
Leadership starts at the top so respect must also start at the top. And for respect to be effective, it must be consistent, genuine and easy to perceive.
Establishing mutual respect in the workplace benefits everyone and it is free with huge returns.