Foster Respect and Improve Teamwork in the Workplace
Your team at the office is just like a rock band. There are different personalities, backgrounds, and individual goals to contend with, and if you’d like to improve teamwork in the workplace, you need to foster an environment of mutual respect. Not just between you are your employees, but between employees and their coworkers.
Without respect for your bandmates, a rock star will never make it big. In order to really rock, you need to treat others with dignity and be tolerant of their differences.
Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that one of the biggest threats to a team working cohesively is a lack of mutual respect. In order to create this type of culture, you need to first understand what it looks like, and then learn how to implement it within your department.
What Does “Respect” Look Like in the Workplace?
If you don’t understand what respect is, it’s difficult to know whether you’ve got it at work. Here are a few signs that your employees respect you (and vice versa) and each other:
- Allowing people their turn to speak – There is nothing more infuriating than being asked a question and then not being given the opportunity to answer. When you interrupt your employees or allow staff to interrupt one another, you send the message that their thoughts, their opinions, and their voices don’t matter.
- Pay attention to your non-verbal communication – Not everyone has a “poker face” but when you make unpleasant facial expressions, roll your eyes, or cross your arms over your chest defiantly, people notice. Being subjected to these nonverbal cues can be demeaning to any employee.
- Treat Everyone the Same – It’s fairly obvious (though still bears mentioning) that you should treat everyone equally no matter what their race, age, gender, or sexual orientation. But what about their job title? Do you treat some members of your team better than others based on their duties in the office? Does the person who cleans the toilets deserve any less respect than management? People are people and if you’d like your staff to work together, they have to understand that they are all important to the team.
- Praise Others for their Accomplishments – Celebrating a job well-done shows employees that they are appreciated and respected. When you create a culture of celebration, your employees will take the cue and praise one another when a goal has been reached.
How Do you Encourage Respect?
Now that you have a clear understanding of how “respectful behaviors” look, how do you encourage your employees to engage in them?
1) Lead by example. You can talk about respect all you want, but if you aren’t modeling it for your employees, no one else will either.
2) Highlight everyone’s value. Make sure your employees understand that each and every one of them has different experience, different skills, and different goals. However, that doesn’t make one person any more valuable than another’s. A band wouldn’t sound very good if everyone played the bass. You need different types of talent to make beautiful music.
3) Discourage gossip. The quickest way to lose respect is to talk badly about someone. People will lose respect for the gossiper, the “victim” of the gossip, you as a manager for not shutting it down, and themselves for listening and not defending their coworker.
4) Discuss expectations. Be clear when you onboard a new employee, and host a meeting for existing employees to help them understand why respect for their coworkers is important, what it looks like in action, and how they can be a part of creating a culture of respect.
When you want your team members to work together, ensuring that they respect one another and the job they are there to do will help improve relationships, teamwork, and your bottom line. Create rock star results with respect.
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” Aretha Franklin (written by Otis Redding)
Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.