Twelve years ago, business leader Ken Blanchard stated that “the biggest challenge for companies in the future will be retaining their good people” (Gupta, 2004, p. 7). The years since have only reinforced Blanchard’s observation. Blanchard further observed that employees are interested in job satisfaction. Blanchard (Gupta, 2004) gave an important insight into the subject of job satisfaction and the retention of good employees when he said,
The number one indicator of job satisfaction today is the relationship you have with your boss, and the number one reason that people leave companies is their relationship with their boss. One thing that needs to be done is to take the retention challenge seriously. (p. 8)
Decker and Van Quaquebeke (2015), 11 years after Blanchard, found that leaders who treat their subordinates with respect increase the subordinates sense of job satisfaction. Decker and Van Quaquebeke (2015) state, “Indeed, for many people the importance of this factor is equal to, or even greater than, aspects such as salary or job security” (p. 543). A leader who shows respectful leadership will find that people identify with them. Beyond this, employees will be more satisfied with their jobs and more committed to their organizations (Decker & Van Quaquebeke, 2015). One final consideration to keep in mind is that just as respectful behavior might positively motivate, disrespect can demotivate in equal, if not great proportion.
Here are some practical considerations: 1) Make retention a priority, 2) Train supervisors on the importance of respectful leadership, 3) Provide leadership personnel with feedback concerning their leadership style, and 5) Make retention a priority (yes, this was said twice!).
Decker, C. & Van Quaquebeke, N. (2015). Getting respect from a boss you respect: How different types of respect interact to explain subordinates’ job satisfaction as mediated by self-determination. Journal of Business Ethics, 131, 543-556.
Gupta, A. (2004). Leadership in a fast-paced world: An interview with Ken Blanchard. Mid-America Journal of Business, 20(1), 7-11.