20 Quotes That Teach Organizations How to Give Respect and Get Respect

Give Respect, Get Respect: The New Mantra for Business Leaders of Tomorrow

Respect Your Opponent
Respect Your Opponent. Photo and Co/Taxi/Getty Images

The workplace is teeming with people with different personalities. Some are aggressive go-getters, others prefer to take it slow. Some are friendly, some are articulate backbiters. Some like to brown-nose their superiors, some others are rebels without a cause. In larger organizations, where employees come from diverse backgrounds, there is a greater need to set up clear lines that ensure nobody steps into another's personal comfort zone.

In a workplace, where cultural and ethnic diversity has become common,where people from different religion, race, and nationality have to coexist, the importance of giving and getting respect becomes critical to the success of the organization.

  • Tom Peters
    The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.
  • Frank Barron
    Never take a person's dignity: it is worth everything to them, and nothing to you.
  • Stephen R. Covey
    Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.
  • Cary Grant
    Probably no greater honor can come to any man than the respect of his colleagues.
  • Rana Junaid Mustafa Gohar
    It is not grey hair that makes one respectable but character.

How often have you heard employees complaining about the lack of respect in the workplace? According to a HBR survey conducted by Christine Porath, associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and Tony Schwartz, founder of The Energy Project, business leaders need to demonstrate respect to their employees if they want better commitment and engagement in the workplace.

The survey results, as quoted in HBR in the November 2014 states: "Those that get respect from their leaders reported 56% better health and well-being, 1.72 times more trust and safety, 89% greater enjoyment and satisfaction with their jobs, 92% greater focus and prioritization, and 1.26 times more meaning and significance.

Those that feel respected by their leaders were also 1.1 times more likely to stay with their organizations than those that didn’t."

Every employee needs to feel valued. That is at the core of every human interaction. It does not matter what rank, or office the person holds. It does not matter how important is the employee's role in the organization. Each individual needs to feel respected and valued. Managers who recognize and empathize with this basic human need will become great business leaders.

  • Ayn Rand
    If one doesn't respect oneself one can have neither love nor respect for others.
  • R. G. Risch
    Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you've got to give it.
  • Albert Einstein
    I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.
  • Alfred Nobel
    It is not sufficient to be worthy of respect in order to be respected. 

How Top Management Can Convey Respect to Employees in the Workplace

The culture of respect should be religiously adhered to by every person in the organization. It has to percolate from the higher management to the last person down the structure. Respect has to be proactively demonstrated, in letter and spirit. Various forms of communication and engaging social interactions can build an environment of respect for employees.

One business manager used an innovative idea to make his team feel valued. He would send out a message on their group chat every week or two on what his targets and achievements were for the week. He would also welcome suggestions and feedback on the same. This made his team sense a greater level of responsibility towards their work, and would feel that their contribution had a direct bearing to their employer's success.

Another employer of a mid-size business organization would invest an hour of the day meeting up with each employee personally over lunch. In doing so, the business manager not just learned important aspects of his own organization, but he also communicated his trust and respect to each employee.

  • Julia Cameron
    In limits, there is freedom. Creativity thrives within structure. Creating safe havens where our children are allowed to dream, play, make a mess and, yes, clean it up, we teach them respect for themselves and others.
  • Criss Jami
    When I look at a person, I see a person - not a rank, not a class, not a title.
  • Mark Clement
    Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.
  • Muhammad Tariq Majeed
    Respect at the cost of others is disrespect in effect.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Men are respectable only as they respect. 

Respecting Co-Workers in the Workplace

Respect is a two way street. While some believe that respect has to be earned, the onus of respect falls both on the receiver and the giver. A rude colleague will never respect you no matter how good you are. This is where respect has to be actively incorporated in the corporate ethos. But what about earning respect from your co-workers? While you are entitled to politeness, civility, and good behavior, you can't command the respect of your colleagues, juniors, or customers if your behavior is not worthy of respect. To earn your colleagues respect, follow these 5 basic principles:

1. Respect others and don't encroach on their personal space.

Politeness, appreciation, kindness, and attentiveness are various manifestations of respect. If you don't give these to your fellow workers, you can't expect the same from them. So, don't forget your 'Good Morning's', 'Thank You's', 'Sorry's', and 'I Appreciate You's.' Go a step further, if you wish. Make it a point to listen attentively when your colleagues speak. You don't have to agree with their opinion, but share your views in a respectable manner.

2. Self respect is the key to earning respect.

Don't bend over backwards to accommodate others. They will only see you as a weakling and stop respecting you. Have faith in your own beliefs. Hold on to them, even as you assimilate other points of view. A person who stands tall in the crowd of dissenting voices earns the respect of all dissenters, and even wins over a few.

3. Respect your ethics, and values.

Never compromise on your ethics. Never. At work, you may often face a dilemma that will require you to give in to a morally unacceptable practice. If there is a clash of your ethics with that of your organization's, it is always better to hang on to your ethics. You don't have to change your values just to become a lovable person in the company. Walk away when you feel that your ethics are being compromised.

4. Work hard and never miss deadlines.

Your work should speak for itself.

When you achieve excellence in work, nobody can take it away from you. Your hard work will prove the dissenters wrong, and you will stand tall in a crowd. Even if you are stuck in a workplace where favoritism or oneupmanship rules, your hard work will pay off rich dividends when you move to a better workplace.

5. Respect the rules. Abide by the law.

When you follow the rule book, nobody can point a finger at you. Don't fall out of favor by breaking laws. By sticking to the rules, you eliminate the possibility of making bad choices too. Law abiding people are respected and feared by everyone.

When you respect others, you respect yourself. Stand tall amongst your peers and mentors by giving them due respect. These respect quotes can inspire organizations to show respect to their employees.

  • Cesar Chavez
    Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.

  • Shannon L. Alder
    A true gentleman is one that apologizes anyways, even though he has not offended a lady intentionally. He is in a class all of his own because he knows the value of a woman's heart.

  • Carlos Wallace
    From the moment I could even understand what “respect” was I knew it was not a choice but the only option.

  • Robert Schuller
    As we grow as unique persons, we learn to respect the uniqueness of others.

  • John Hume
    Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace - respect for diversity.
  • John Wooden
    Respect a man, and he will do all the more.