respectful workplaceA respectful workplace is one where we treat each other with respect and dignity and protect each other from unwelcome behaviour like bullying and harassment.  We know through studies that demonstrating compassionate behaviour on its own accounts for improvements of productivity up to 30%.  Why is this?  We seem to know intuitively that if someone is compassionate and treats us respectfully, we feel more able to focus on getting our work done, as we have our other needs for safety, esteem and belonging met.  The relationship needs are met so we can focus on the outcomes that are important to us.

There is also considerable research showing the impact of positivity in the workplace on productivity in that up to a certain point, the more positive interactions we have with each other, the more productive we become.  Fredericson and Losada’s research has indicated a balance that they call’s the Positivity Index, where high performance teams have about 5 positive interactions to 1 negative interaction.  This is sort of like what Steven Covey calls putting some deposits into the emotional bank account before making a withdrawal.  Positive interactions can be as basic as showing interest, or acknowledging another’s point of view, even if you have a different perspective.

Respect is a soft skill that has a big impact on keeping our best people in a team or an organization. Without it, people compete agressively with one another or passively give each other the cold shoulder.  Productive and quality suffer.  We lose good people.  With respectful behaviour, we retain our people and motivate them  to pull for each other.  Which would you rather have?

For some practical tips on creating a respectful workplace, see some of our other articles on ways to connect respectfully with each other here:

Respectful Workplace Tips