The pandemic has left employees demanding more respect for their work and their personal lives, writes S. Chris Edmonds, who offers five ways leaders can align business goals with employee expectations, including creating a culture of trust and focusing on doing good in the world. “Define a work culture that puts good first, valuing respect as much as results,” he writes.



If you’re like many leaders, the pandemic has stressed your business, your people and your customers.An opportunity lies before us. After an era of self-serving leaders, lies, misinformation and divisiveness from the highest levels, employees now expect respect, in every interaction, from their leaders and from their peers.

Results are certainly important in business today. Equally important is workplace respect. In fact, it is more important today than ever before.Employees also expect their leaders to create and sustain work cultures that embrace diversity and equality – where everyone has a voice. Talented, engaged employees are choosing to work for, and with, organizations and leaders who take a stand on global issues like homelessness, community service and climate change.

More and more, talented, engaged employees are choosing to work for and with organizations and leaders that accommodate the incredible demands that the pandemic has placed upon them. Your team leaders and team members are doing their best to juggle isolation, working from home without suitable support or systems, and potentially supporting partners whose hours have been reduced or cut entirely.


So, Employees Expect Respect.

This shift toward treating people with dignity and respect comes at an awkward time for many business leaders. These leaders are stuck between the demand for results and the requirement of respect. If leaders don’t find a mutually beneficial middle ground, employees will leave. They’ll go work for better-aligned companies and more inspirational leaders. Customers will move their allegiance to organizations that genuinely care about and proactively invest in their communities.