How to Demonstrate Respect in the Workplace BY SUSAN M. HEATHFIELD
Respect is a key requirement for a healthy work environment. It promotes teamwork and increases productivity and efficiencies in the workplace. It lets employees know they are valued for their abilities, qualities and achievements, and that their role is important to their company’s success.
Being respected and valued promotes a positive work culture where employees are loyal, fulfilled, and motivated to perform at their best for their company. Those who are not respectful to others are unprofessional and a threat to the health of their company.
Respect in the Workplace
Always treat people the way you want to be treated—with respect. Recognize that, like you, your coworkers, reports, and superiors have rights, opinions, wishes, experience, and competence. They also make mistakes, which are simply lessons to be learned. They have similar concerns and insecurities and share the common goal of wanting to perform their jobs successfully.
Respect in the workplace breeds a healthy work environment. A professional, respectful work culture encourages productivity and growth. Staff work optimally knowing they are valued and respected for their ideas as well as their role within the company.
How to Show Respect in the Workplace
Ideas for demonstrating respect in the workplace include:
- Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.
- Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas.
- Listen to what others have to say before expressing your viewpoint. Never speak over or interrupt another person. Listen and stop formulating rebuttals and responses in your mind when you need to focus on listening to the other person.
- Use peoples’ ideas to change or improve work. Let employees know that you used their idea or encourage them to implement it.
- Never insult, use name-calling, disparage, or belittle people or their ideas.
- Do not constantly criticize, judge, demean, or patronize a worker. A series of seemingly trivial actions added up over time constitutes bullying.
- Be aware of your body language, the tone of voice, and your demeanor and expression in all of your interactions at work. People hear what you’re really saying in addition to listening to your words.
- Improve your ability to interact with coworkers and supervisors based on the awareness you’ve gained dealing with people and your emotional intelligence. This will help you to relate with empathy and better understand those with whom you work.
- Treat employees fairly and equally. Treating people differently can constitute harassment, discrimination, or a hostile work environment.
- Include all coworkers in meetings, discussions, training, and events. While not every person can participate in every activity, do not marginalize, exclude or leave out any one person. Provide an equal opportunity for employees to participate in committees, task forces, or continuous improvement teams. Solicit volunteers and try to involve everyone.
- Offer praise more frequently. Encourage praise and recognition among employees, as well as from supervisors.
Respect is a requisite for a healthy, professional workplace where employees feel valued performing work that is meaningful to their organization. A healthy work environment can increase employee retention and boost an organization’s reputation as a great place to work.