Respect in the workplace contributes to performance across the entire organization. When an organization respects all workers, teaching lessons, sharing experiences, and shifts in attitude about the workplace occur. Earning respect among team members can improve the workplace significantly.

In this guide, you'll learn the importance of gaining respect from employees, as well as the impact of disrespect on company morale. Furthermore, you will learn essential leadership skills to help you become a respected leader in your organization.

Respect Establishes a Healthy Work Environment

When it comes to establishing a healthy work environment, respect is essential. The importance of respect in the workplace should never be underestimated, as it ensures all employees know they are valued. When team members know their worth and are treated respectfully, employee engagement, loyalty, and job satisfaction improve.

Respect in the work environment requires all workers to treat team members with gratitude and dignity. This means that a "thank you" and a "job well done" should be given when a team member shows their hard work. Dignity can be reflected even when a worker has mistyped or there are differences of opinion. Regardless of whether it's a positive or negative situation, demonstrate respect as it helps overcome obstacles and improve the work environment.

Additional benefits of a respectful work environment:

  • Increased employee engagement. When respect is mutual at work, team members can become less stressed at work. In turn, they perform tasks more diligently.
  • Reduced stress. The well-being of every team member is essential for an organization to run smoothly. If employees feel stressed, they are less likely to share ideas and work with one another. When stress is reduced and respect is shown, employees experience both mental and physical benefits.
  • Improved knowledge sharing. Workers that know they are respected automatically start to share ideas with one another. As a result, knowledge is shared among team members and mutual respect continues to increase.
  • Better collaboration. Employees who show respect ensure that their colleagues know their opinions and ideas are valid; thus, team members can begin developing creative solutions to problems.
  • Improved employee satisfaction. Respectful work environments build productive and collaborative work environments, which create a positive workplace. Respected employees leave work feeling accomplished and satisfied, leading their teams and having lower turnover rates. Employee satisfaction saves organizations money as leadership will not have to spend additional time training and onboarding new employees who are sure to quit in a few months.
  • Builds a fair work environment. Avoiding favoritism and allowing all team members to have a voice, a respectful work environment builds a fair environment. This means that no gender, race, sexual orientation, age, or disability should impact an employee's level of respect. All team members deserve, and are given, the same level of respect.
  • Boosts the bottom line. When all of the benefits of a respectful work environment build up, the workplace becomes a better place. Micromanaging becomes a thing of the past and the entire workplace benefits.

Impact of Disrespect

A recent study posed the question: Would you be happier and less stressed if your boss called in sick, was absent from work, or went on vacation? The study found that 88% of participants expressed that they would be happy if their boss was out of the office. While leaders should help team members feel more confident, secure, and comfortable, this isn't always the case.

Overall, a bad boss can have a serious impact on mental and physical health. Relationships at work have a powerful impact on each and every aspect of our lives. From our immune systems to our sense of self, and from performance to creativity, a negative employer hurts team members' well-being and ability to work.

The Journal of Applied Psychology studied the problems of team members undermining one another. In this study, they found that interpersonal aggression costs organizations roughly $6 billion annually. When employees are disrespectful, it's unprofessional and can hurt team members, stifling productivity and employee satisfaction.

Addressing Disrespectful Employees

As you can see, disrespect has no place in a productive and fulfilling work environment. Here are some methods to overcome disrespect in the workplace:

  • Listen to employee feedback and address any problems you can.
  • Provide feedback to disrespectful employees, clearly outlining what they need to improve, why they need to make adjustments, and how they can improve their actions.
  • Keep records of disrespectful incidents in case you need to take legal action in the future.
  • Establish expectations and be consistent with enforcing those guidelines and rules.

How Build a Healthy Work Environment

Whether you're a new leader or an established manager, having respect from employees on your team is essential for your success. As a team leader, it's important to find the balance between employees knowing you are the authority and also feeling valued and respected. To gain respect from your team members, you will need to keep essential elements in mind: set boundaries, be fair, and earn respect.

Set Boundaries

Managers and team leaders need to establish boundaries from the get-go. As a manager, this could be setting guidelines for sick days and family emergencies. When setting boundaries, you are setting the precedent that you are the leader and have authority — but that doesn't mean you should become a tyrant. Good managers have a balance between authority and caring for the well-being of each team member. Once boundaries have been established, you will need to enforce them, as well.

Lead With Fairness

When team members feel that another employee is getting special treatment, they will be less loyal and more suspicious and frustrated. Additionally, when a manager expresses favoritism, the employees will see you as their friend instead of their boss. Ultimately, this can cause conflict among team members, which can impact the harmony and productivity of your team.

Instead, be fair with the relationships between your employees. Everyone on your team should feel that they are valued members of the team and should be treated without biases. Show respect to employees by providing each team member with support and show consistency in how you assign tasks and offer perks.

Earn Respect

When you've proven that you can be trusted and are loyal, people are more eager to respect you. As a manager, be willing to share achievements; however, be careful so as not to sound as if you're belittling employees.

Additionally, make sure to take responsibility for your own tasks. Continuing to learn and improving your own workflow will show team members that you're dedicated and humble enough to acknowledge that you should always be willing to learn.

Adapting your leadership style in subtle ways can help you earn respect:

  • Follow the company's mission. All leaders should live by example. When it comes to improving the work environment to build respect, leaders should follow the mission of the company.
  • Set goals. Make sure to set goals for team members, as well as for yourself. Hardly anything is worse than a boss with the "do as I say, not as I do" mantra. Instead, abide by the same rules you've set for employees.
  • Be transparent. Respected managers are seen as approachable. Employees can go to the manager without fear if they need help solving problems or performing their tasks.

Create a Supportive Work Environment With Skynova

When it comes to a positive work environment, having work-life balance and supportive team members is essential. As a small business, ensuring every team member feels valued is essential in employee job satisfaction and retention, as well as creating an environment that is conducive to productivity. Regardless of paycheck or title, each individual on the team is deserving of respect. Without it, the team can become disjointed, leading to less output and damaging your bottom line.

At Skynova, we're dedicated to helping small businesses improve their work environment. Whether we can help businesses with our accounting software, business templates, or small business resources, we're here to help. Visit our website to learn key strategies for running an efficient business.

Notice to the Reader

The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure that you're meeting accounting standards.