People skills are the key to leading and managing people, but obviously many businesses don't invest in making certain they are a part of their culture.
Recognition is involvement.
It is equally the case that involving people in problem-solving and decision-making adds to their sense of value and worth.
Asking employees their opinions, asking them to help solve problems or implement improvement and providing them with opportunities to discuss important decisions goes a long way towards minimizing the social distinction of the management hierarchy.
But many organizations still don't get it. Instead, they try to persuade employees that they are respected by simply handing out snappy titles and business cards. But the realities of status are not mitigated by slogans that only profess equality.
If leaders do not value their employees, then calling them 'associates' – just like canned praise, cheap merchandise and clichéd mission statements - cannot camouflage that reality.