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R-e-s-p-e-c-t – What Does It Mean for Your Business?

December 3, 2014 | Staffing Blog

Respect Employees Year Round

During the holiday season, many employers make an extra effort to show they appreciate their workers. They cater lunch, host a holiday party, give out employee recognition awards or hand out bonuses for a job well done.

Employees appreciate that year-end pat on the back, but, unfortunately theses gestures of goodwill ring hollow if they only happen during the holiday season. If employees aren’t appreciated and respected the other 11 months of the year, they won’t see a one-night holiday party as a truly thoughtful gesture.

Sure a free lunch is nice but it turns out all employees are asking for is a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t. A Harvard Business Review study of almost 20,000 employees around the world found half don’t feel respected by their bosses.

Employers shouldn’t discount employees’ need for respect. According to the study, those who said they get respect from their leaders report higher levels of health and wellbeing, significantly greater job satisfaction and better focus. Those employees are also more engaged in their work. All these positive employee behaviors and attitudes result in a more successful business and a larger profit margin.

Take this example from Doug Conant, a former CEO of Campbell’s Soup. When Conant took over the company in 2001, it was struggling mightily. Engagement was terrible and the business was failing. By 2010, the company had made a significant recovery. So what changed? A large part of the newfound success was Conant’s efforts to show his employees respect. He wrote 30,000 individualized notes to his 20,000 employees.

Yes, that’s a lot of thank-you cards, but it’s worth it if writing those cards saves your business.

This holiday season, have the company holiday party and hand out those bonuses and include a personal note of thanks and point out something each employee did over the course of the year that made a difference. Then make it a priority in 2015 to write those notes all year. Maybe you set a goal to write 10 a week. That 30-minute investment can reap big rewards.

Plus, you’re fostering an overall culture of respect that will trickle down to the mid-level managers and the individual workers. There’s a good chance you’ll see them treating each other better because you’re leading the charge and being an example.

In a business where people feel appreciated they will work hard, be engaged and are likely to stay with the company. It’s easy to take advantage of these benefits. All you need is a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t.