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How Leaders Can Foster Mutual Respect With Employees to Build a Successful Workplace

  • Respect of employees is a critical part of fostering a good work environment
  • An executive coach says this quality goes beyond interpersonal relationships
  • Communications, procedures, and distribution of resources also involve respect of employees

Business leaders not only want their employees to respect them but also want to let these workers know that their efforts are appreciated. While this basic harmony can go a long way toward establishing a healthy work environment, managers should also understand other ways they need to show respect to their employees.

In a recent article for Inc., leadership expert and executive coach Maya Hu-Chan says respect is an often overlooked factor in employee relations. Workers who don’t feel respected are less likely to perform well at their job and more likely to leave.

Interpersonal respect is the most common type, including an avoidance of “emotional violence” such as the questioning of an employee’s knowledge or abilities. Hu-Chan says other types include informational respect (the perception that leaders are being open, truthful, and transparent with their communications) and procedural respect (the sense that the company is following its own procedures and being consistent with their implementation).

Employees should also feel that the way the company distributes its resources, including the pay and benefits it gives to its workers, should be fair. However, Hu-Chan says adequate compensation alone is not enough to offset shortcomings in other types of respect.

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