I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” -Jackie Robinson

This quote is interesting because this could be the very thing your employees are trying to say to you. If you were to take a step back, how would you rate yourself on respecting employees? If you were to ask them, what do you think they would say about you? From c-suite executives to front-line workers, respect is a key driver in an engaged and productive workforce.

According to a survey conducted of more than 19,000 people by Harvard Business Review, more than 54% of employees claimed they don’t regularly get respect from their leaders. Respect isn’t something you should be taking lightly. A lack of respect can cause your employees to be unhealthy, unhappy and unproductive.


The way you treat your employees can have effect on their health. Micromanaging, criticism (that isn’t constructive) and disrespect can cause stress in those under you. According to American Psychological Association work-related stress is the 2nd highest cause of stress in America. The Harvard Business Review study shows however that those who were respected at work had 56% better health and well-being. For employers, these costs can add up in sick days, absences and poor communication.


When employees were treated with respect 89% had greater enjoyment and satisfaction with their jobs in the Harvard Business Review study. Those that felt respected by their leaders were also 1.1 times more likely to stay with their organizations than those that didn’t. If you want your employees to stick around respect is definitely important. It may even decrease your turnover rate and save you money. But respect doesn’t look the same for every employee. Learn how to show different employees respect based on their work values.


Unhappiness among workers in the United States has been estimated to cost a whopping $300 billion a year in lost productivity. 92% of those who felt respected had a greater focus and prioritization. People also said leaders who treated them with respect were also 55% more engaged. Engaging your employees is one of the first steps in building mutual respect.

What you can do

You may be asking, okay so now what? Everyone has the potential to grow in all areas of life. Respecting others is no exception. The first thing you can do is take our assessment. Vitru Compare, allows you to see your personality traits and work values. Then invite your employees to take the assessment as well. Use Vitru Compare, a completely free tool, to see a side by side view of your work values and personality traits and upgrade to Vitru Relate to view all employees and create cultural benchmarks for specific teams. This impactful assessment platform gives you a glimpse into how your employee functions at work and life. This will give you an idea of what the employee needs to feel respected.

As the leader and role model, will begin to slowly create a culture of respect. You can start small by sending an email to all your employees thanking them for all their hard work and your appreciation. Work up to more specific recognition and respect as you see emerging trends and glean insights from your assessment toolbox.

Remember to communicate, be patient and really listen to your employees. Soon you will begin to see your employees be happier, healthier, and more productive.