This paper explores how treating people respectfully affects performance and work effort based on individual differences in self-esteem. Appraisal respect encompasses admiration for skills and abilities, and recognition respect reflects treating people in accordance with their human rights. The findings show that extant self-esteem moderates the impact of respect on performance and work effort. A laboratory study using actors to express recognition respect shows that implicit self-esteem moderates recognition respect in a self-verifying manner: People with low implicit self-esteem perform better, whereas those with high implicit self-esteem perform worse when treated with low levels of recognition respect. In contrast, explicit self-esteem moderates appraisal respect in a self-enhancement manner. People with higher explicit self-esteem perform better when they receive low levels of appraisal respect as operationalized by performance feedback. A second study surveys working adults in order to extend the findings to work effort. This study juxtaposes the two types of self-esteem. People with congruent implicit/explicit self-esteem expend more work effort when they experience recognition respect, and those with incongruent self-esteem expend more effort when they experience appraisal respect. These findings integrate self-esteem and respect theory to explain how respectful treatment affects performance.