I believe that all people should be treated with respect.  People who believe they are respected, appreciated and valued tend to be happy people.  From my experience, employees who believe that they are respected, appreciated and valued are productive and motivated.  I believe that it is the job of every manager to respect, appreciate and value their employees. This is what good Sales Management is all about.

When I was the Director of Inside Sales for a large educational software company, I managed a team of 18 Inside Sales Reps and 2 Telemarketers.  Many of my team members were at their desks by 5:30 AM Pacific, because they had Eastern territories.  I made it a point to walk around their area at 5:45 AM and then again at 7:30 AM, when the rest of the team was at their desks.  I did this ritual every day to offer encouragement, answer questions and to let everyone know that I appreciate them.  Sometimes I would bring in bagels or donuts and offer these to the team.  After a few weeks in my new position, the team began to expect my daily walk-throughs.  They were ready with their feedback or progress updates.  If someone was down, I would offer encouragement or provide insights on how they might solve a particular problem.

Every quarter, the CEO of this company made it a point to come to our offices and do “call-challenges” with the team.  He would sit with each Rep and make calls to their prospects using his opening statement.  Then the team member would do the same, using their opening statement or script.  He would provide feedback and encouragement throughout the process of making these calls.  The goal was to see who was able to move the prospect to the next level.  (The CEO never mentioned to prospects that he was the CEO, which would have given him an unfair advantage).  The team welcomed his visits and the CEO got a kick out of seeing how each team member handled their prospects.  He admitted to me, after these events, that he learned some new tricks.  He let the team know that he was impressed by their focus and effort.

The VP of Sales, at the same company, would often ask me what the team needed from him to boost morale and to make them feel appreciated.  He would drop by the office as well, providing feedback and congratulating the team when we met our monthly and quarterly objectives.

I saw how important it was to the team to have the Executives visit, and provide their insights and feedback.  I decided to ask other Executives from Marketing/ Finance/Legal /Product Management to visit us to discuss campaigns or to address issues on contracts or commissions and to hear about new product functionality.  The team loved having the opportunity to meet with the Executives.  These meetings gave them the sense that they were valued and respected.

This team was named region of the year for achieving 114% of quota.  Our success was due to many factors.  However, I believe one important factor was that this team felt the “love” from the company’s Senior Executive team.

My opinion is not only supported by my own experiences, but by many human resource studies. After my research, I can conclude that an overwhelming percentage of literature confirms that respect at the workplace generates not only a more productive working environment, but helps the organization meet its goals. For example, Daniel J. Koys concludes from his literature review that “organizational commitment is positively related to the perception that HRM activities are motivated by (a) management’s desire to show respect for the individual and (b) management’s desire to attract/retain employees”. [1] Similarly, a study of Total Quality Management argues that “Empowerment and teamwork significantly enhance job involvement, job satisfaction, career satisfaction, and organizational commitment.”[2] Commitment and a feeling of belonging create a positive working environment, and if an employee feels like his/her work is appreciated and valued, he/she is more willing to go the extra mile for the company’s well-being.

Create a culture of appreciation.  Ask senior executives and mid-level managers to take part in this process.  Morale will be high and your teams will, by feeling the “love”, be more productive and engaged at work.


[1] D. J. Koys, “Human resource management and a culture of Respect: Effects on employees’ organizational commitment” (1988), Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Volume 1 (1), pp 57-68. < http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01385453>

[2] N. Karia and M. Asaari, “The effects of total quality management practices on employees’ work-related attitudes” (2006), The TQM Magazine, Volume 18 (1), pp. 30-43
< http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1537485&show=abstract>