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One of the key factors in intrinsic employee motivation is the feeling of belonging, which can only be facilitated through respect and trust. Respect is no longer just about workplace ethics but is also a smart business move. In fact, a work environment that fosters mutual respect supports employee productivity, recruitment, effectiveness, and retention. On the other hand, an environment that is characterized by perennial lack of respect at work lowers employee morale and increases employee turnover. Those who feel disrespected tend to become frustrated and spend a large chunk of their time at work thinking and talking about the lack of disrespect, causing a toxic work environment. While other areas of employee motivation have received considerable scholarly and media attention, not much focus has been given to respect and how it can be improved in the workplace. As such, this article explores the different ways of improving respect in the workplace.
What is the importance of respect in the workplace?
Respect in the work environment is critical for engaged and productive employees, and for a cultural fit in a diverse workplace. However, incidences of conflict and misunderstanding abound in workplaces where there is lack of respect. Such a toxic work environment can be avoided by ensuring that there is mutual respect at work. Mutual respect is tied to:
- Improved relationships
- Reduced stress
- Enhanced productivity
Act professionally to earn respect
Of course, you were selected from a large pool of candidates for a reason. Your employer, as well as other members of the organization, will have expectations regarding the way you dress, your arrival time at work, the way you perform the duties to which you are assigned, how you adhere to policies that govern the workplace such as safety measures and work ethics. These expectations are commonplace in each work environment and will determine how employees relate to each other. By acting professionally, you get to not only avoid unnecessary conflict but also endear yourself to other employees.
Showing respect to peers and subordinates as a way of earning respect
Your peers and subordinates expect to be treated with respect and fairness. Many supervisors and managers fail in this respect. In most cases, your subordinates will be critical to your success in the organization. They are the ones who work hard to support your objectives and business goals. As such, gaining their loyalty and commitment is critical. This can only be realized if the subordinates feel that they are respected within the organization. This can be achieved by listening to their concerns, seeking their input in decision-making, and recognizing their contribution to the team. In this way, you get reciprocated respect.
Show professional respect to your superiors
Your superiors will also expect you to respect others as part of the hierarchical organizational system. Such positional respect is important irrespective of the attributes and competencies of the persons serving in those positions. Such respect never goes unnoticed and could be critical to interpersonal relationships with your superiors.
Be performance oriented, keeping in mind that respect isn't given it's earned
A sure way of gaining respect in the workplace is by focusing on your role. Here being performance oriented does not mean coming in every day to fulfill your duties as an employee. Rather, it means operating outside of what is expected to achieve high results. Such an employee is a problem solver, working smart to improve the overall team.
Show self-confidence to earn respect in the workplace
One way of getting your colleagues to respect you is by demonstrating your passion for company goals. Do not allow the fear of being laid off to interfere with your performance. Be practical and readjust your goals as appropriate.
Be humble when interacting with other people at work
While you should be ready to admit your shortcomings, you shouldn’t dwell on them. Most people will not respect you if you come off as insecure. In sum, therefore, show your human side, but retain a sense of self-assurance and bravado.
Share what you know if you want people to really like you
Sharing your knowledge with others in the workplace demonstrates that you are confident in your capabilities and that you respect your colleagues enough to want to share such critical information. Workplace interaction requires communal learning. This will also help you foster a team mentality.
By following these tips, you will end up with a work environment that is healthy and productive. You also get to foster intrinsic motivation.
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