Respect seems to be a basic concept that most people understand and accept without thinking too much into it. Like something you may have watched a video about in elementary school. The danger in this mindset — the mindset that says respect is a basic competency — is that we become lazy about it. We don’t actively pursue respect because we just assume that it’s happening.
That mindset has the potential to play out in the workplace, and it can take a team from functional to toxic in an instant. If an individual team member lacks respect for another team member, the dynamic of the team becomes immediately hostile. And if a leader lacks respect, then you might as well throw teamwork out the window.
So then, perhaps respect is not only a basic competency, but a vital expectation from our team members and something we should diligently consider. Here are four reasons why N2 has found respecting each other in the workplace matters.
1. Work works better.
When people feel respected and welcomed, they like doing their work. Monday mornings may never be easy, but they’re easier for people who are excited about their work and the people they work with. And when people are passionate about their working environment, they produce better work. They’re more productive in a way that’s inspiring, not dutiful.
2. The company attracts better people.
When you have a team that respects each other, people notice. Yes, even that person that came in for an interview that one time noticed. Having a happy and productive team attracts more happy and productive people. In the end, you end up with this respectful snowball – your team just keeps growing with more and more awesome people.
3. We all learn from each other.
If a team has taken the time to establish an atmosphere of respect and openness, they can learn a lot from each other. We all have our own perspectives – which is great – but we can grow so much more when we allow other people’s perspectives to challenge our own.
4. The team produces better ideas.
Have you ever been afraid to share an idea with a group? Maybe you’ve felt the need to share your idea with a disclaimer like, “Okay, this might be a terrible idea, but…” and then you launch into it. And for every one of these tentatively shared ideas, there’s a handful more that aren’t spoken. Cultivating a welcoming atmosphere of respect makes people feel welcome to collaborate, and collaborative ideas are always better than ideas produced alone.
But aside from all these benefits, respect stems from one basic idea: people matter. And if you believe that, truly one of the most basic things you can do for those you work with is respect and welcome them.
Think you’d like to work with a company that values respect? Check out our open positions here.