Ask a business owner what the most important thing to their employees is, and the majority of business owners will say, ‘money’.
Have the business owners ever actually asked the employees?
If you survey the employees of any business and ask them to rank what is important to them – one fact is consistently true – ‘Respect’ always ranks higher than ‘Money’. As a result of this fact, ‘Money’ has never ranked first in any of the surveys, and sometimes it ranks third or fourth.
Now if you are a business owner and thinking, ‘Why should I give respect when I don’t get any back?’ That is a good point, but it does confirm a lack of respect exists in the business.
I anticipate the next thought of the business owner might be, ‘But my employees are different’. I would be glad to survey them for you to find out the truth. For now, let’s explore the benefits of a respectful workplace.
The solution is Mutual Respect – The boss respects the employees and the employees respect the boss. Since I believe “the fish rots from the head down”, then respect improvement programs have to start with the leadership (the head of the fish). The desire for mutual respect should be genuine and consistent. It is best to shine a light right on the situation and attack disrespectful activity head on.
Consider the following communication:
“Hi everyone, as the boss of this business I would like to make sure I demonstrate and behave respectfully in all my interactions. I welcome your feedback on this topic. In return, I ask each of you to also act respectfully. Does that sound fair to everyone?”
There is nothing bad that could come from this action (unless you aren’t actually respectful!). The other huge gain is that this type of effort costs you nothing – it’s free.
However, the benefits to your employees are more valuable to them than more money!