I stopped at the Dollar Tree on my way to teach an organizational behavior class and I couldn’t believe the irony of what I saw. There, posted on the outer window of the office, in plain view for all the customers, was a handwritten sign that said: “Respect + Listen to your Managers!! Give Respect! Get Respect!”

This was bad enough, but right next to it was a sign that promoted open interviews/now hiring! I laughed out loud.

Who would want to work at a place like this? And how can the managers possibly believe that such a sign is going to do anything to help an already aggravated situation?

The sign implies that employees and managers can hand out respect like trick-or-treat candy. If only it were that simple. Respect is earned, not given. Respect takes time and repeated actions to build a foundation of trust from which respect can grow. Respect is humble and does not require handwritten signs with underlines and exclamation points.

If you are wanting your employees to “Give Respect!” YOU as the manager need to be the one to earn it first. Maybe their “open interviews” should be to hire someone else to lead the store!

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