2 Perspectives on Respect
Posted on August 22, 2013 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
There are many reasons why an employee may perceive or experience a lack of respect in an organization. Perhaps an employee feels the manager speaks condescendingly to him or her. Maybe some employees see that they are systematically excluded from team meetings that they feel they should be a part of. It’s possible that an employee is used to certain culture of respect at a former organization that is not as apparent in his or her current organization. Whatever the reason, there seems to be a disconnect in perceptions of respect at work based on one’s status in the company.
The most recent global panel data from TNS Employee Insights shows that 76% of senior managers or executives believe that everyone in the organization is treated with respect while only 53% of full time employees (who are not managers) believe the same. The difference between these two figures, while not entirely surprising, is quite substantial. This is an interesting finding because the employees responded regarding their perceived respect of all employees at the organizations, not just themselves or those in their immediate work group. So, why the huge gap?
The most likely reason for this disparity in judgment is likely due to common human bias. That is, a senior manager may be likely to rate such an item very favorably because he or she witnesses many acts of kindness and respect each day between senior coworkers and tries to treat his or her subordinates with respect. This information is readily available and vivid to the individual. A full time employee who is not a manager may experience the same bias in that he or she sees a high amount of disrespect between coworkers or between employees and managers. There may also be an issue underlying this finding in the amount of control one has over his or her job duties. Higher level positions tend to have more control over how tasks may be completed while lower level positions are often at the mercy of a manager to control the job tasks. Because of this, non-manager employees would have more opportunities to experience disrespect because of their lack of control and voice in their positions.
There are many more reasons why executives and non-manager full time employees would hold different perspectives on the level of respect in an organization. What other reasons do you think contribute to this gap?