Give Respect, Earn Respect

Respect is a key ingredient in the recipe for building organizational excellence. Individuals feel respected when they believe their rights, wishes, attitudes, skills and opinions are valued and that they are an important member of the organization. In short, respect demonstrates that you are valued for who you are.

Have you considered what your organization can do to demonstrate respect?

Be true to your values and mission.

Ensure these foundations of your business recognize the importance of individuals and the benefits to the business of respect. Cite these as the basis for every decision and action. Don’t just talk about it; live up to your mission and values.

Be transparent.

When someone feels that organizational issues concerning them are not being revealed, trust is eroded, leaving bitterness. Show respect for individual’s judgments and hopes by sharing the organization’s aspirations, successes, concerns, shortcomings, and plans.

Be authentic.

Say what you mean and mean what you say. Demonstrate ethical principles in words and deeds.  Ensure the organization meets its commitments; and, if it falls short explain the reasons.

Listen and hear.

Feeling unworthy of being heard depletes respect dramatically. Create opportunities for people to speak up about both the positive and negative aspects of the organization. Make unearthing problems a reason for positive feedback. When people speak, confirm what you hear and take action to respond.

Create ownership.

Help everyone understand that they own their jobs and their successes. Ensure managers recognize positive results in a timely, sincere fashion and thank individuals publically for efforts and results.

Build skills and confidence.

Create an organizational culture that supports continuous learning and confidence building. It empowers people to do their work the best way they can. A commitment to lifelong learning shows the organization respects employees’ need to grow and make greater contributions. It demonstrates that you consider their untapped potential worth the investment.

Create a positive climate.

Make positive feedback at least 80% of what the organization says to people. Build a culture of winning against the odds versus defending against detractors. Build energy by helping people see how they are achieving milestones for success in their roles, thus helping their team and the organization achieve their successes.

When the organization combines these ingredients to show respect, employees will taste success and return the respect. Excellence will grow as a natural result of individuals making their greatest contribution.


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June 3, 2014

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