The secret to cultivating more effective, happier workers is simple: help them feel respected and heard.

Robin D. Richards, co-chairman and CEO of the CareerArc Group, which helps job hunters connect with employers, says creating a culture of respect among the staff is vital to building the most positive and productive workplace.

"The concept of respect is not just for the sake of respect," Richards tells Business Insider. "People that feel good about their day, feel good about themselves, feel good about their contributions, have more productivity in a day by a substantial amount. And at the end of the day, productivity is the lifeblood of success."

The respect in a company needs to come from high and low. A boss needs to be open to criticism, and the employees at the organization need to be able to voice their feedback in a positive, constructive way. "Respect is a two-way street," Richards explains. "Recognize that every person in your enterprise has a job to do."

The greatest innovations, he adds, come when people talk to each other. "If you have that culture of sharing and speaking your mind, then what you get is all these good ideas," he says.

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