What Makes a Respectful Workplace
You may have heard of the expression “respectful workplace.” A workplace that values its employee has an advantage in growing their business. What does a respectful workplace look like?
Ask yourself: How are you treated as a manager? Do you feel that you are important to your manager, recognized for your work and respected for your feelings and thoughts?
Ask your employees: What does respect mean to them?
Key ingredients of a Respectful Workplace
- Speak – it’s important to insure communication with employees is clear and open to dialogue. Encourage people to share their feelings and thoughts about issues and projects. Consider what you say and its impact on others.
- Listen – focus on what the other person is saying. If your time is limited, ask them to either condense or make another time when you are more available. You are being clear with the person around your availability and give them the opportunity to be part of the decision. Partial listening will get you in trouble. First the employee knows and second you may not have all the information you need because you are not listening fully.
- Write – email is a common mode of communication with others, and in our rush we may not be aware that others can take our words different than what we intend. If the email has sensitive content, consider relaying the information face-to-face. Email is flat so others can put in their meaning to your words.
- Differences – employees come with their own beliefs, issues, cultures and ways of doing so it’s important that you and all your employees are respectful in their interactions with others. If you see someone not interacting in a respectful manner, it’s your responsibility to have this discussion with the employee (in private.)
- Personality Conflict – it’s important how you deal with someone whose personality isn’t a good match for you. You may not understand them right away, yet if you decide to use coaching as your base for relating, you will start to listen better and understand the person more.
- Inclusion – don’t favor one person over another, rather create a work environment that supports collaboration and team work. You will have people who have different strengths, and if you are inclusive, you help each person contribute with their strengths.
- Coaching – as a manager, use coaching as the foundation in your interactions with your team members. What is coaching? A combination of listening, providing clear direction and encouraging an employee’s best performance. It’s highlighting the employee’s strengths and helping them with areas of learning that will increase their contributions. It’s a respectful way to build strong working relationships with your employees.
- Solutions – think in terms of solutions with your team members and not reacting to problems. Have them be part of the solution process as well. This insures you have a buy in to the success of the decision. If an employee makes a mistake, work in private to help them rectify it or learn from it going forward.
- Recognize, recognize, recognize – you will gain so much by actively recognizing each person for their contributions. Yes, monetary recognition is great, though verbal recognition goes a very long way in encouraging an employee to keep doing the great work they are doing. Recognition is used for small actions as well…for example, “I really appreciate how you hung in there with all of the changes, as it may have been frustrating to you.”
On a daily basis, be mindful of the importance of letting others know you respect them.
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