The Number One Factor in Employee Satisfaction

Respectful treatment of all employees at all levels was rated as very important by 67% of employees in 2015, making it the top contributor to overall employee job satisfaction for the second year in a row.

8 out of 10 employees who feel disrespected are less committed. (SHRM)

you could use carrots and sticks to energize performance but showing respect is simpler and less expensive


You could use carrots and sticks to energize performance but showing respect is simpler and less expensive.

How to show respect:

I was asked during an interview, “How do you respect your customers when all you need is for them to make a purchase?” My thoughts went beyond customers to respect in general. The word ‘compassion’ came to mind.

Compassion feels like respect.

#1. Show respect by acknowledging personal struggle. Some team members have wayward children, others have financial stress, still others struggle with their marriage.

When you learn of a person’s struggle:

  1. Resist the urge to solve struggles for people. You disrespect the struggle when you offer off-handed solutions.
  2. Listen with interest.
  3. Express compassion. “I’m sorry you’re going through this difficult situation.”
  4. Express empathy. “It must be tough to face this challenge.”
  5. Offer kindness. “I can’t pay your bills, but is there anything I can do to make today a little better?”
  6. Show appreciation. “I appreciate your contributions while you’re carrying these personal concerns.”

#2. Show respect by acknowledging responsibility. Employees carry important responsibilities. Leading is tough and often under-appreciated.

You show respect when you:

  1. Appreciate the burden, even if you don’t feel it yourself.
  2. Realize that easy for you may be heavy to another.
  3. Notice strengths. “You’re really good at … .”
  4. Acknowledge progress. “I believe you’re an important factor in the way our meetings are improving.”

Research adds 5 ways to show respect:

  1. Delegate important tasks.
  2. Receive advice.
  3. Provide freedom to pursue creative ideas.
  4. Take an interest in someone’s nonwork life.
  5. Stand with people during critical situations.

What makes you feel disrespected?

How might you show respect to team members? Leaders?