Have you ever worked for a boss who took your efforts and contributions for granted? If so, you’re not alone. According to our latest Employee Engagement Report, not even one out of every three workers feels strongly valued by the companies they work for.
Have you ever worked next to a colleague who was mean and disrespectful? You probably weren’t inspired to hop out of bed and get to the office as soon as possible every morning.
Suffice it to say, it’s difficult to be enthusiastic about your job and reaching your full potential if your manager isn’t grateful for the work you do — even to the point that they don’t give you the respect you deserve. The same goes for working with a colleague who behaves as though you’re beneath them.
It’s difficult for workers to be fully engaged if their managers or coworkers don’t treat them with respect. For those employees, work simply becomes a place to go to collect a paycheck. Forget about going above and beyond or taking any initiative.
In dynamic startups and fast-paced work environments, respect can be in short supply. It’s often an afterthought, but it plays a critical role in employee engagement. When bosses treat their employees with respect — and coworkers do the same to each other — companies benefit in myriad ways, including:
Improved relationships: As discovered in our Engagement Report, colleagues are the number one thing employees like about their jobs. When respect is a cornerstone of a company’s culture, it is much more likely that stronger relationships between coworkers will develop. The stronger the relationships your employees have with one another, the more likely they will be to challenge and support each other every day. Similarly, when bosses treat their employees with respect, workers are that much more motivated to try their hardest and do their best.
Increased involvement: When employees are given respect from their peers and superiors, they are more likely to feel like they are part of the team and that their feedback and ideas matter. To this end, employees who feel respected will speak up in team meetings. They won’t be worried about being ridiculed if their ideas miss the mark. Quite simply, respect helps employees feel more connected with the companies they work for.
Strengthened morale: Working for someone who doesn’t respect you can be disheartening. Instead of focusing on doing your job to the best of your abilities, you worry about not angering your boss. You end up spending more time figuring out how to keep your superiors happy than you do tackling your projects or brainstorming new ideas. When respect is given freely by everyone on the team, however, workers are in much better moods in the office. Stress is reduced, as employees don’t have to worry about saying something that their bosses or colleagues will react to irrationally. Instead, it’s much easier to communicate effectively.
Respect plays a critical role in improving employee engagement. As a result of stronger relationships, increased involvement, and healthier morale, company productivity improves too. Workers don’t dread showing up to the office each day. Rather, they are excited to work hard with their colleagues, supporting each other every way they can. If that’s not a healthy team, what is?