Business Monday

Why a culture of respect is good for your company’s bottom line

Nigel Patterson.
Nigel Patterson.

Simply being human means that we function on several levels — thinking, feeling and asking deep meaningful questions. We do not suddenly turn off when we enter the workplace.

To be the best we can, we need to be understood and respected. We need to feel valued.

We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

But, what if I am so different in my temperament that I do not want to be treated the same way you would like to be treated? What if I am a deep analytical thinker and you are an outspoken and flamboyant business leader? Do you believe that I want to be treated as though I am suddenly outspoken and flamboyant too? No.

But, unless you make an effort to get to know who I am, then how can I expect you to treat me differently to how you would like to be treated?

A workplace culture devoid of mindfulness can result in poor communications, low employee engagement and accountability, bullying and sexual harassment, conflict and stress, poor customer relations, just to name a few.

These are real challenges in Miami’s multicultural environment.

The 2012 SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Study states: “Understanding how employees fit in within their department and the organization overall is an important factor to overall job satisfaction and engagement (resulting in reduced turnover).”

So what can be done?

“Treat others as they would like to be treated.” This is the Platinum Rule.

Too often I am invited into an organization when there is already a problem. Tensions are running high. There may be one “uncooperative” member of the team who is “dragging the rest down,” and management is frustrated at their staff’s apparent mediocrity. Likewise, individuals in the team may be frustrated because they do not know how to best serve their managers and seem powerless to approach them to obtain resolution. Productivity suffers.

When I suggest running a workshop to improve collaboration and team effectiveness by focusing on a culture of respect, I am often greeted with “but we already have respect here, why would we want to do that?”

However, the key is identifying and respecting the inherent differences and motivators in each person.

Would it not be better for team cohesion, productivity and ultimately the bottom line if we knew how another would like to be treated, and then treating them that way?

A fun, yet powerful, online strengths-based Temperament Assessment Tool does just that.

It generates a color profile unique to each participant, which is then shared in a safe and fun environment resulting in a culture of mutual respect being very quickly established (see

An employee in a Miami-based public relations company commented, “By understanding my co-workers’ intrinsic values, I found it very helpful to better engage with them. Productivity improved.”

And a participant from a major bank shared, “It has been shown that once participants know their co-workers’ colors, they go out of their way to accommodate each co-worker's unique profile.”

A large healthcare organization has taken it one step further: Using color profiling, they perfectly match their consumer-driven health-plan clients to coaches.

Is this some New-Age fad?

No. It is critical today for employers to build an environment of trust and collaboration if they wish to hire and retain the best talent possible.

Creating a culture of respect is easier than most people think, and its rewards are far greater than anyone can imagine. It is good for the bottom line.

Nigel Patterson is the president of Transformation Dynamix based in Miami. He helps businesses and their staff function more efficiently and harmoniously and thus become more productive. He also supports executives going through changes and personal crisis. He can be reached at and