Building mutual respect in the workplace doesn’t happen on its own. It takes effort to build a culture of respect, but it’s well worth every bit of that. In fact, if employees feel like they work in an environment that respects and appreciates them, they will likely be more committed to the success and longevity of the company. Here are some ways to encourage mutual respect among the teams at your company.
#1: Lead by example.
There needs to be respect from the top down. If you want your company to radiate a culture of respect, then the most senior employees need to model that behavior. Show them what it means to be respectful to each other but be human at the same time. If they see you working and leading with kindness and respect, they hopefully will want to be that way in return.
#2: Be real with them.
Team leaders can show vulnerability in a way that builds connection among team members. This is a delicate balance though, as you don’t want to make it seem like you are weak or unable to lead with strength. For example, if you are training an employee and they come across a roadblock, talk about a time that you also overcame an obstacle and how you did that. Finding common ground and showing empathy in a respectful way can inspire others around you.
#3: Be a good listener.
When you talk to someone who feels a million miles away, it’s easy to feel disrespected or like you – or your time – don’t matter. So, when you’re talking to someone on your team, listen intentionally. Ask questions and pay attention to their answers. There’s no better way to build mutual respect than by listening to each other.
#4: Show your appreciation.
It takes time to build trust and respect, but one of the best ways to do that is by expressing your gratitude and appreciation for a job well done. If you see someone on your team going the extra mile or helping another team member, thank them. Consider writing them a handwritten thank you note, or at the next staff meeting call attention to their hard work in front of the group. Celebrate accomplishments!
Last, show your team that you are invested in their personal growth and development. Provide opportunities for them to enhance their talents and abilities in the workplace and give them opportunities to advance or be promoted. By rewarding progress, you show that you respect them as individuals and are willing to motivate them to be the best that they can be.