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Build a culture of respect to end office drama

Building a culture of respect can take time, but the payoff is worth it as productivity and employee retention increases, says S. Chris Edmonds.

2 min read


Video transcript:

The great resignation isn’t over. More than 15 million US workers voluntarily quit their jobs in October ’22-January ’23. CNBC reported that a new LinkedIn study found that 70% of Gen Z and millennials plan to quit their jobs in 2023. These younger generations won’t tolerate old school, autocratic leaders or toxic work cultures.

Business leaders today cannot sit on the sidelines. They must act to build — and sustain — a culture of respect in their workplace. Why? Our research and experience indicates that respectful work cultures enjoy these benefits:

Increased productivity. A culture of respect leads to increased productivity among employees. When employees feel respected and validated, they are more engaged, more committed and more productive.

Improved employee retention. Employees are 40% more likely to stay with a company which treats them with respect and validation. Increased retention saves companies money on recruiting and training new employees.

Better collaboration and teamwork. A culture of respect boosts collaboration and teamwork among employees. When employees feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas, they can work together more effectively to achieve common goals.

Reduced workplace stress. A disrespectful work culture leads to high levels of stress among employees. This causes burnout and reduced productivity. A respectful work culture creates a positive, purposeful and productive environment.

Legal compliance. Sustaining a respectful work culture helps organizations comply with legal requirements related to workplace harassment, discrimination and other issues. Failure to maintain a respectful work culture can damage the company’s reputation and result in legal liabilities.

Respectful work cultures do not happen by default. They only happen by design. Most business leaders have never been asked to change their work culture. Most don’t know how. Creating a culture of respect doesn’t happen overnight. It requires attention and intention by business leaders for 18-24 months.


Chris Edmonds is a speaker and author as well as executive consultant, founder and CEO with The Purposeful Culture Group. He has authored or co-authored seven books, including two Amazon bestsellers: “The Culture Engine” (2014) and “Good Comes First” (2021) with Mark Babbitt. Edmonds’ videos, posts and podcasts are available at Driving Results Through Culture. Follow Edmonds on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Apple Podcasts.

Opinions expressed by SmartBrief contributors are their own.


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