Business Leadership Today

Paul Marciano on How RESPECT Helps Improve Employee Engagement and Retention


In this episode we talked with author Paul Marciano and discussed the top 7 most important things that a leader needs to do to improve employee engagement and retention.

Paul is a leading authority on employee engagement and retention. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University where he specialized in behavior modification and motivation. 

Paul has served on the faculties of Davidson College and Princeton University where he has taught courses in Leadership, Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Survey Development, Research Methods, and Statistics.

Paul has worked in the field of Organizational Development for 25 years and is president of the human relations consulting firm Whiteboard, LLC, a company committed to helping organizations cultivate, manage, and grow their human capital. 

Paul is also a strategic adviser to Kudos Inc. an innovative SaaS employee engagement platform.

Paul’s internationally acclaimed book Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT provides dozens of real world case studies and turnkey strategies to increase employee discretionary effort and reduce turnover. 

His newest book is called Let’s Talk About It: Turning Confrontation into Collaboration

Join us as we discuss with Paul how to improve employee engagement and retention. Learn about Paul’s RESPECT model and how each piece of the model leads to higher levels of understanding and engagement. Hear how setting clear expectations and forming continuous, healthy lines of communication will help any leader grow their team members.

Here is a link to Paul’s website:

Here is a link to Paul’s book:
Let’s Talk About It: Turning Confrontation into Collaboration

Here is a link if you want to Connect With Paul on LinkedIn:
Paul’s LinkedIn Profile

Paul’s Top 7

1. Recognition: Showing employees appreciation for a job well-done.

“Fundamentally, people want to be recognized and appreciated for the efforts they make. When you work really hard and you are recognized for it, you want to work harder. When you aren’t, or even worse when someone else gets credit for your work, that’s very demotivating for us.” – Paul Marciano

2. Empowerment: Providing employees with the tools and resources to be successful.

Organizations regularly fail to invest in their employees’ growth and development. This is especially true for first time supervisors and team managers. Oftentimes organizations will promote an individual to a management position based on tenure or performance in their previous role, but don’t invest in their development as a leader. This practice will ultimately end in failure.

3. Supportive Feedback: Sharing ongoing performance feedback – both positive and corrective.

“I often compare it to being a coach of a team. If you are the coach of a team and your quarterback throws an interception in the preseason, you wouldn’t wait until the end of the season to talk about it. But we do that in business all the time, we use annual or semiannual reviews to dive into issues that could have been addressed much earlier.” – Paul Marciano

4. Partnering: Actively supporting and collaborating with employees.

“People don’t like hierarchies, partnering is about breaking these down and working more directly with employees and listening to their input and insights.” – Paul Marciano

5. Expectation Setting: Establishing clear performance goals and holding employees accountable.

“If I’m a boss and I’ve asked someone to do something, if they haven’t achieved it the first place I need to look is in the mirror and say ‘Have I communicated this correctly, is there something I can do to help this person understand this expectation better?’” – Paul Marciano

6. Consideration: Demonstrating thoughtfulness, empathy, and kindness.

“We all deal with struggles of all sorts in our lives and it is important for leaders to be aware and considerate of those struggles.” – Paul Marciano

7. Trust: Demonstrating faith and belief in employees’ skills, abilities, and decisions.

“Building trust can be like a piggy bank. We have a relationship where I put a nickel in, you put a dime in, and so on and so forth. And if one of us does something to break that trust it’s like the piggy bank has been shattered and we can try to put it back together but it will more than likely never be the same again.” – Paul Marciano

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