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Can Respect in the Workplace Encourage Engagement?

The RESPECT model, developed by Dr. Paul Marciano, is an approach to leadership that encourages employee motivation and performance. This model is based on the premise that both personal and professional relationships are more successful within the context of respect.

Can Respect in the Workplace Encourage Engagement?

The RESPECT model, developed by Dr. Paul Marciano, is an approach to leadership that encourages employee motivation and performance. This model is based on the premise that both personal and professional relationships are more successful within the context of respect.  

Dr. Paul Marciano set out to define what respect means for employee engagement.  Marciano compiled a century’s worth of research to develop an actionable leadership philosophy. That philosophy is embodied by the RESPECT model, an approach to leadership that addresses employees’ beliefs, values, and sense of worth. Employee engagement depends on the extent to which an employee respects and feels respected by the organization, their leader, team members, and their work.  

Marciano identifies 7 key drivers that influence employees’ engagement. These drivers represent the employee’s integral assessment of respect. To integrate the RESPECT model into your leadership approach, consider incorporating aspects of each quality into your interactions with and management of your teams.

Recognition - Taking the initiative to recognize your teams’ contributions and performance is key in ensuring employee happiness and success. Make it a habit to recognize and acknowledge employees!

Empowerment - Actively promote personal development among your teams by providing direction and support, along with tools, resources, and opportunities available, so your people can continue to grow, take on new responsibilities, and bring greater value to your organization.

Supportive Feedback - Regularly provide feedback and take time to coach and mentor your teams. This can be achieved by delivering straightforward, sincere and honest feedback in a constructive and positive manner. Be sure to solicit feedback from others to demonstrate that it is a two-way street.

Partnership - Promote teamwork and actively encourage collaboration. The best partnerships encourage growth by openly sharing opinions and questioning the status quo.  

Expectations - Provide a clear and consistent direction. Set reasonable expectations and hold your team members to the same standards of accountability to ensure a sense of fairness. Be mindful that everyone is working towards achieving the same objectives!  

Consideration - Take into account the impact of your decisions on the people and teams around you. Be mindful of concerns brought up by others in your organization. You should aim to follow up on concerns in a timely manner to show your teams you care about their feedback.

Trust - As a leader, it’s key to establish trust among your teams; trusting that they will make positive and informed decisions. Keep your word and nurture that trust by treating your people the way you would like to be treated!  

Trust is the foundation of nurturing employee engagement and creating an organization with a deep-rooted culture of respect. Without trust, a leader can never fully realize the rewards of respect. Employees who don’t feel respected nor recognized are more likely to perform the bare minimum, and your organization can’t accomplish its goals without the support of dedicated teams!

If you believe your organization and working teams can benefit from a leadership approach like the RESPECT model, consider looking closely at your current practices. Which aspects of your existing leadership strategy are effective, and which aspects require improvement? Start small, choosing specific areas where you can implement qualities from the RESPECT model on a consistent basis. By monitoring the results of such efforts, you can then fully implement other qualities in a way that works for your teams.

Here are three simple yet effective ways you can work RESPECT into your leadership approach:

Consider a social recognition platform for your organization  

While setting reminders and implementing manual recognition initiatives on a semi-regular basis may work, most employees crave consistent and constructive recognition. In fact, 63% of employees feel they don’t receive enough praise for their work. With a recognition platform like Kudos, you can simplify the recognition process by providing cohesive and consistent recognition when it’s due among your teams!

Make time for mentoring

Coaching and mentoring can be one of the most challenging aspects of leadership to practice on a consistent basis. With tasks, deadlines and daily responsibilities, taking time to mentor your teams can often be deprioritized. Consider scheduling burst mentor sessions in your team calendars (such as 15-minute coaching sessions) on a weekly basis, where your employees can ask questions, seek your guidance and learn from your experience!  

Ask your employees for their feedback

You may be surprised to learn that 31% of employees wish their leaders would interact and communicate with them more frequently. As a leader, you may feel vulnerable asking your teams for their feedback, however, this is an important part of the growth process both as a team and as a leader! Your employees will appreciate that you value their feedback and will feel more comfortable voicing their concerns. Feedback, when constructive and delivered positively, should be woven throughout the fabric of your organization.

The combination of recognition, empowerment, feedback, and trust encourages employees to respect others and feel respected. Making small yet purposeful changes can help leaders develop the confidence both they and their teams need to practice RESPECT every day in the workplace. Marciano believes respect is an essential ingredient for employee engagement.

About Kudos®

Kudos® is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos® uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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