Tools for improving workplace culture
Through a combination of unintentional (sometimes purposeful) ignorance, competing agendas, and stubbornness, we make our way through life, sometimes treating others with disrespect along the way, according to Paul Meshanko in his book The Respect Effect: Using the Science of Neuroleadership to Inspire a More Loyal and Productive Workplace. The problem is that when people feel disrespected, they don’t give us their best.
In case the reader is not fully convinced about the importance of focusing on respect in the work environment, the author gives five compelling reasons:
- Disrespectful behaviour costs businesses billions of dollars per year in settlements
- Treating others with respect and dignity is the right thing to do
- Disrespect hijacks the victim’s brain processes, making the victim less productive
- Disrespect decreases employee engagement
- The manner in which we treat others leaves a lasting emotional impression, which affects how they remember us
The book goes on to discuss a range of tools for building respectful work cultures, and then to provide a blueprint for taking action, which involves:
- Creating a consensus for taking action
- Gathering feedback on the prevalence of behaviours associated with respect
- Inviting those involved to participate in the journey
- Cultivating a respectful environment by providing training and reinforcement
I am fairly sceptical about business books written by non-scientists which claim to reveal the latest advances in brain science, and I am not sure that there really is a “science of neuroleadership” other than for marketing purposes, so I hesitated before investing the time into reading this book. I am happy to report that my fears were unfounded and the book is not filled with quack science.
The book is entertaining and easy to read, while at the same time providing valuable information and practical advice on a topic which is of vital importance to most workplaces.