Dealing with respect in the workplace


Having a harmonious work environment is crucial for creating a productive workforce. Respect is a massive part of that, and can really affect how colleague’s view themselves and their contribution to the business. HR policies that tackle equal opportunities and bullying are a great base for building respect, but interestingly, research has identified four main categories of respect. Understanding these main four types of respect can be useful in avoiding respect-related arguments, which is vital in the office.

respect in office

What are the four main forms of respect?

1) Tolerance – putting up with what someone else wants / needs / hopes for / expects and not taking action against them.

2) Admiration – feel esteem for a colleague and encourage their behaviour and traits.

3) Deference – acceptance of superior status of another colleague, showing submissive attitudes and behaviours.

4) Acknowledgment – recognition of the positive value of another colleague’s achievements, traits and behaviours, with no overtones of reluctance.

Acknowledgment is the most basic form of respect and is usually deserved without being earned, although the two key forms you would expect to see in most workplaces as a minimum would be tolerance and acknowledgment.

How can managers show respect to employees?

A 2012 study of social workers identified respect as a key factor in voluntary turnover, with colleagues who claim to feel under-appreciated more likely to hunt for a new position. Retain your staff by utilising these tips:

  • Show recognition of staff
  • Empowerment – give staff the tools and training they need to be successful
  • Supportive feedback
  • Collaborative work environment and energised culture
  • Set clear performance goals and develop potential
  • Be considerate
  • Trust stuff and promote ownership
  • Be authentic
  • Sacrifice for the organisation when necessary
  • Praise more than you criticise

[testimonial name=”Mandy Roberts” who=”HR Manager” imagelinks=”” vertical=”no”]”I have recently joined Total Assist Group as HR Manager, liaising with teams across the company to ensure everything runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.”[/testimonial]