Civility and Respect towards Employees

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Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Civility and Respect towards Employees

Research on Civility by Christine Porath revealed that the 20,000 respondents (employees from all over the world) ranked "respect" as the most important leadership behavior.
However these same 20,000 respondents also report disrespectful and uncivil behavior is increasing each year!
Porath's quite current book in these times of President Trump shows what incivility is costing organizations in an entertaining mix of statistical data and anecdotal evidence about the cost and reward to incivil and civil behavior. While some of the civility strategies discussed in the book could be considered somewhat basic (Say please and thank you, Don't interrupt, Share credit, Ask questions rather than barking orders), a surprising amount of leaders, managers, and organizations don't always practice them 😉.

According to Kristy Rogers, the main reason for this remarkable disconnect” between the importance and current practice of respect is that some managers could be unaware of the difference between "owed respect" and "earned respect":
  • OWED RESPECT is given equally to all members of an organization. It includes civility and a culture that each employee is considered inherently valuable.
    A lack of owed respect is typical for following situations/environments: Taylor-like, micromanagement, uncivil, abuse of power, sense that employees are interchangeable.
  • EARNED RESPECT recognizes specific individuals who are showing valued qualities or behaviors, or are achieving good results. It distinguishes employees who have exceeded expectations and, particularly in knowledge work settings, affirms that each employee has unique strengths and talents.
    A lack of earned respect is signaled by phenomena like: stealing credit for other peoples’ success, failing to recognize (and reward) individual achievements by employees.
Sources:
Christine Porath, "Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace", 2016, Grand Central Publishing
Kristie Rogers, “Do your Employees Feel Respected? Show Workers that they’re Valued, and your Business will Flourish”, HBR Jul-Aug 2018, pp. 62-71

  KOEHL Maryse
Professor, France
 

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@Steven Cooke: Thanks for your contribution to thi (...)

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@Maurice Hogarth: I agree that there is a necessar (...)

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