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Mutual respect: How to build it in your workplace


Mutual respect in the workplace is critical for an organization to stay productive and efficient. 

Employees who feel they are being respected will perform better at their jobs. Showing your staff that they are valued and approved of promotes a positive work culture that increases employee engagement and promotes loyalty to your company.

Disagreements are bound to happen from time to time among team members and between employers and employees. 

If you implement a culture of respect in your business, then those disagreements will be dealt with using the right workplace communication techniques. But if you don’t, you risk turning your workplace into a battlefield, decreasing overall productivity and efficiency. 

Therefore, as a hiring manager, you must build a culture of respect between coworkers. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a difficult process.

Communication is a key factor in promoting mutual respect. TestGorilla’s Communication test can help you find job candidates who are great communicators from the start. 

You can also read through this article to learn what mutual respect is, why it’s important, and seven ways to build it in your company.

What is mutual respect?

Respect is caring about someone else’s feelings, opinions, and wishes. It can also include admiring their qualities, skills, and achievements. It’s more than simply tolerating someone who is different from you. It means treating them courteously and trying to understand their worldview and significance. 

Mutual respect is the idea that all human beings have value. When people practice mutual respect, they acknowledge that everyone is different. This nurtures environments in which everyone is welcomed, treated fairly, supported, and given equal opportunities to grow. 

Why is mutual respect important in the workplace?

Mutual respect important workplace

Mutual respect is vital to a healthy company culture, especially in our globalized world. Recent changes like the rise of remote working have brought together workers with many different backgrounds and ethnicities.

Regardless of these differences, it’s crucial for coworkers to treat each other with respect since they will be spending a significant amount of time together as they work to achieve the company’s goals. 

Building respect among your staff has several benefits for your business: 

  • Promotes productivity and co-operation: Employees who work in an environment where mutual respect is the norm are more productive and co-operative, which improves team performance.

  • Improves efficiency and reduces stress: Your employees’ well-being is crucial for their efficacy at work. Workers who feel respected are less stressed and more motivated to make the most of their skills and traits. Your business will prosper when your employees are working at their best. 

  • Increases employees’ satisfaction and engagement: Being respected in the workplace raises employees’ satisfaction, which can increase engagement and reduce employee turnover. According to a Harvard Business Review study, treating others with respect is the most important leadership behavior when it comes to employee commitment and engagement.

On the other hand, a lack of mutual respect can lead to destructive behavior. Name-calling, bullying, gossiping, and disregarding another person’s feelings destroys harmony and cooperation. An employee who doesn’t feel respected might even be unwilling to go to work and do their job.

The conflict, poor communication, and teamwork issues that result from this type of work environment will almost certainly have a negative impact on the company’s productivity and profits.

7 ways to foster mutual respect in the workplace

As the hiring manager at your organization, it’s your job to foster respect in the workplace.

You can achieve this by using the following seven methods. However, it’s important to ensure that everyone adheres to these rules, from first-line employees to top management. Only then can you build and maintain mutual respect throughout your organization.

Foster mutual respect workplace

Lead by example

Great leaders set a positive example for all employees by being the first to show respect to their colleagues. That begins with showing kindness and using appropriate language when communicating with employees.

Small gestures like this don’t go unnoticed. If your organization’s leaders practice respectful behavior, your staff will mirror it.

Actively listen to employees

The ability to actively listen to another person and understand what they are saying is a vital part of fostering mutual respect. Hearing your employees out means sitting down with them and focusing on what they’re telling you. This enables you to learn about all of the problems and challenges they face in the workplace. 

Don’t interrupt them or brush off their ideas. Rather, try to see their point of view and acknowledge what they have to say.

Listening to your team members on a daily basis signals to them that you’re showing them respect.

Show appreciation and celebrate employees’ achievement

Always try to affirm the value of each team member, especially when they have gone above and beyond in completing their tasks. Nurturing a feeling of appreciation will make employees feel like the work they do is worthwhile.

Ensure that you praise team members’ contributions in front of others and reward them appropriately. When you show them respect in this way, they will respond by continuing to perform at their best. 

Avoid unconstructive criticism

Nobody likes to listen to negative criticism. When you’re unhappy with someone’s work or behavior, try to say something positive about their performance before explaining their shortcomings.

Once they hear some positive feedback, they’ll be much more inclined to accept constructive criticism. At this point, you can explain exactly what you want them to do and why it’s important to do it that way. When an employee understands why they should complete a task in a certain way, they’re much more willing to change their approach.

Get to know your employees

Because everyone is unique, showing respect to your team members doesn’t always mean treating them in the exact same way. Make an effort to learn more about each of them personally and professionally: Find out what their goals are, what they like to do outside of work, and what they value. 

This will help you create a rapport with your employees. Once you understand them better, it will be easier to put their actions, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses in context. Getting to know their hopes, dreams, aspirations, and ambitions will enable you to achieve mutual respect in the workplace.

Provide opportunities for growth

According to a Gallup study, 59% of millennials (who make up 35% of the US workforce) say that growth opportunities are essential to them when applying for a job. 

Whenever possible, give employees a chance to upskill or take on new projects to give them a sense of purpose. This makes employees more likely to take ownership of their duties than simply doling out tasks to them that they might find meaningless.

As a manager, giving your employees opportunities to grow and learn shows you care about investing in their learning and development. If you offer them training to learn a new skill or encourage them to take an online course on a topic they’re interested in, they will likely repay your respect by improving personally and professionally and doing better work for the company.

Encourage colleagues to voice their opinions and ideas

You need to signal to your team members that you’re there for them, no matter how big or small their problems or challenges are. Nothing upholds a culture of mutual respect better than an open-door policy. 

If employees know you’re open to listening to their ideas, they’ll feel much more comfortable sharing valuable information with you that could benefit your organization as a whole.

Your team members will respect you more if they see that you’re willing to prioritize ideas and concerns. So implement an open-door policy for your team members, and enjoy the mutual respect that comes as a result of openly communicating with them. 

Create a great working environment by building mutual respect in the workplace

Building a workplace that promotes mutual respect is no easy task, but it will pay dividends for years to come. By following the tips in this article, you can nurture a culture of respect that encourages open communication and acknowledges every employee’s opinions and ideas.

Remember that a key part of showing respect to your colleagues is investing in their skills and knowledge.

To help accomplish that, we suggest looking at the skills tests in our test library. We have more than 200 scientifically created tests, such as our Leadership & People Management test, that can help you learn more about your employees’ current abilities and skills gaps.This will enable you to invest in training that will boost employees’ performance and mutual respect in your company.

Get started with TestGorilla today by creating a free account.


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