By The Discovery Group
Part 1 - THE PROBLEM
One out of every two employees feels he or she is not treated with respect and dignity by the management of their organization.
Does this matter? Of course! Without management respect, employees will eventually:
- Lose their respect for management,
- Stop trusting management,
- Become resentful and less motivated, and
- Lose commitment to the organization and its goals.
Part 2 - WHAT CAN BE DONE?
1) Start at the Top.
In organizations that respect employees, senior managers set an example by showing respect to each other and to their direct reports. That respect then trickles down throughout the organization, resulting in an
organizational climate of respect and dignity.
2) Listen to and Act on Employee Suggestions.
Asking for employee input can be a highly effective way to earn employee respect. But asking is not enough. Ignoring good suggestions will only exacerbate the problem. It is important that the good suggestions are used and that employees are given credit for them.
3) Provide Scheduling Flexibility.
Allowing employees to occasionally come in late, leave early, or leave and then return in the middle of the day is also a powerful sign of personal respect.
4) Treat Employees as Business Partners.
Keeping the financial books closed to employees and keeping the reasons behind decisions secret also sends the message to employees that employees are not respected. Practice open book management and share organizational goals, as well as the plans to achieve them.
5) Avoid Layoffs.
There are many ways to reduce costs. Every effort should be made to use other cost reduction techniques, such as cutting or eliminating executive bonuses, selling off non-core assets, and cutting other major expenses such as supplies and raw materials. If layoffs are unavoidable, make certain that the remaining workforce understands that other remedies were attempted first.
6) Invest in Employees as Assets.
Employees feel respected when they see that the organization is investing in them through training, retraining, and career development.
7) Show Real Appreciation.
The annual Christmas Party and year-end bonuses are rarely viewed by employees as sincere demonstrations of respect and dignity. It is more important for managers to provide immediate positive feedback by catching employees in the act of doing good things. Management should provide recognition for quality work on a regular and ongoing basis.
Even when sales are down and the future looks bleak, the real health of an organization is dependent upon the level of healthy respect between employees and management.
Employee motivation and commitment must be earned by management. The best way to do so is to treat employees with respect and dignity.
ABOUT THE DISCOVERY GROUP
The Discovery Group provides research-generated insights to help clients discover how to delight their employees and customers. Contact: