How to instil respect as a value in the workplace

With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend just around the corner, this may just be the perfect moment to talk about respect. Despite all the storms that she has had to navigate over the last seven decades (or perhaps because of them), Her Majesty has managed to gain the respect of entire nations. What’s her secret?


If you haven’t got time to analyse her life story over 40 episodes of the Netflix hit series, The Queen, don’t worry. Thanks to a fascinating article published by Forbes, you are but a quick read away from unlocking the secrets of how to instil respect, at least in a work context.


According to Forbes, instilling a shared value of respect starts at the top. Leadership must be exemplary in the matter, consistently serving as a great role model to employees. A key component of the process is to find out what respect means to your workers in terms of both how to show it and how to receive it. In addition, the article claims, there are six steps you can take to proactively foster a respectful atmosphere, as summarised below.


  1. Choose your words carefully

Praise generously in public, and critique sparingly and constructively in private. Be positive in your attitude and show gratitude to employees for a job well done.


  1. Prioritise soft skills

Recruiting people with great soft skills such as emotional intelligence, self-control and adaptability makes maintaining respect in the workplace much easier. Check candidates’ digital footprint (e.g., on social media) to assess how respectful they are in their interactions with others. Having a second interviewer in the room with you is also helpful to this end. Reinforce employees’ soft skills regularly with training courses and reading materials.


  1. Resist all forms of exclusion

Look out for the formation of cliques. If you spot them, focus on improving communication across the groups in question. This could take the form of regular inter-group meetings and project management software that highlights how each employee’s work contributes to the collective goal. Hosting fun activities outside work hours also facilitates cross-group interaction.


  1. Clearly articulate zero tolerance for harassment

It needs to be 100% clear to all employees that management strictly forbids all forms of harassment and that there are rapid, serious consequences if it occurs. Employees’ rights and company procedures for confidential reporting should be posted in high-visibility locations.


  1. Get transparent

By promoting open and clear communication, you demonstrate trust and earn respect. So make company information easily accessible to employees. They should know exactly where to look when they need details about a specific project or company initiative.


When you prioritise respect as a company value, teams grow stronger and overall performance improves.


In a more royal context, we think the Queen has made great strides in instilling respect as a national value over her 70-year reign, and we have all benefited from the fallout. Do you agree? Please get in touch to let us know your views on the subject. And, if you’d like our support on the recruitment side of things, we’d be delighted to help. With a vast pool of qualified, talented and experienced job seekers on our books, and over 30 years’ experience in the field, we will find you the perfect candidates for all your vacancies. Please get in touch!