Respect in the workplace



Over the course of a year I can visit up to 20 – 30 different offices, each with their own unique components such as location, configuration, number of employees, office type, nature of business…. etc.…One thing however that remains consistent for almost all of the offices I visit is each business, regardless of type, seems to have some type of training around respect in the workplace on an annual or in some cases, twice a year rotation.

What I have found is not consistent however, is the information that is provided to the employees regarding respect in the workplace. By that I mean it would seem the objectives can differ depending on the configuration of the office, number of employees who work remotely and number of employees that work together. The differences in the training seem to be mostly around a focus on working in a diverse workplace vs working in an ethical environment. Both options eventually get you to the same place, though the learning path for each is not the same relative to the examples and scenarios that are reviewed.

So…with that said, for this week I thought I would offer a few suggestions regarding respect in the workplace that I feel would be applicable to employees in all different office types, locations, etc.…

What is Respect in the Workplace?

A respectful workplace is one where employees are treated with dignity and respect, free of discrimination and harassment. The workplace environment is a welcoming one that celebrates diversity and offers all employees the necessary support to be successful in their role.

Key Behaviours

Simply put, creating a respectful workplace requires employees to behave in a professional and ethical manner at all times, being mindful of how their actions may affect others in a negative way, regardless if that is knowingly or unknowingly.

Respect in the workplace also means:

  • Be supportive and encouraging

  • Be respectful of others privacy and confidentiality and avoid sharing gossip.

  • Be open to diversity

  • Be respectful of the personal space and boundaries of others

  • Be mindful and ensure you do not encourage inappropriate behaviour

In the end, fostering a respectful workplace comes down to demonstrating common sense, regardless if you work for an organization with 1000 employees or 10. I would imagine that most, if not all of us would prefer to work for an organization that stands by their employees and does everything possible to ensure they are provided a workplace free of any type of harassment or discrimination…. but it is also up to us to do our part.

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