Whatever Happened to Respect
Respect is a word for all ages, all people, and all situations. It was once a commonplace word, but it is now a word that people wish they would hear more often. In my travels as a HR consultant and trainer, I meet hundreds of people throughout the year. Universally, when asked about the most important qualities needed for successful personal and professional relationships, people respond with the same three words: respect, communication, and trust. Respect is fundamental. When consideration for another is shown, communication and trust grow. The resulting dynamics lead to better teamwork, productivity, morale, and service delivery (internal and external). It is a win for all, especially when there is a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.
People are the most valuable resource for any organization. Warehouse and distribution workers are critical individuals in the chain of service delivery. Without their ability to receive, inventory, and move goods, there would be no company. The way in which we talk to people impacts the success of our relationships with them. Patience when teaching new employees – hourly, contract, temp, and professional – is essential. Speak slowly, demonstrate tasks, observe performance, correct mistakes, and welcome questions to ensure understanding. Choice of words, voice, eye contact, posture, gestures, and space all contribute to the total message. Communication is a powerful tool. It is our choice to use it positively or negatively.
Positive reinforcement tends to foster positive behavior. An environment that values its employees, solicits input, provides recognition, establishes clear job expectations, and gives constructive feedback – in other words, respects its employees – is high on the motivation scale. Talent acquisition and retention are affected by people and environmental factors. People leave jobs because of people. Studies continue to show that an individual’s relationship with his or her supervisor is critical to job satisfaction. Keep them or lose them. Which would you prefer?
It is time for each of us to foster and encourage respect in the workplace. Despite all the technology available to us today, sometimes the basics are still the best.
- A smile doesn’t take a lot of effort and sets the tone.
- An apology indicates strength of character, not weakness.
- A thank you goes a long way.
- Please invites cooperation.
- A letter or note of recognition or appreciation is invaluable.
We learn what we live. Be a role model for the Cycle of Respect – Give, Expect, and Receive. Remember the adage – treat others the way you want to be treated. That thought has been around for a long time, but still says it all.
Claudia Monte is principal and consultant with CAM Consulting Group LLC, a full-service HR consulting and training firm, which she founded in 1993. She has extensive experience nationally as a speaker, trainer, coach, and consultant for diverse clients in the private and public sectors. Her firm provides comprehensive, virtual HR support as a strategic, collaborative business partner with a full range of HR services and knowledge learning. As a coach, she specializes in helping individuals strengthen their Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the various facets of their personal and professional lives. You may contact her at email@example.com or through www.cam4consulting.com.