In an ideal world, workplaces would have an environment where all communication and interaction is done in a respectful manner. Co-workers are treated and treat each other with tact and respect every day, and issues such as discrimination, bullying, harassment, and other disrespectful actions would not exist.
Unfortunately, this is not quite the case in the average workplace, which is why it’s important for your company’s leadership to take a proactive approach to creating a culture of respect. Here’s how you can do that:
Start at the Top
The key to creating a culture of respect in the workplace is to lead by example. People will be motivated to treat others with respect if they know the company’s leadership respects them. For managers and supervisors, this means treating people with courtesy and kindness, encouraging them to share their thoughts and ideas, and actually listening to and acknowledging what they have to say.
Encourage Open Communication
Communication is at the center of human relationships, and this is particularly true in the workplace. For employees to respect one another, they need to know how to express themselves and listen to each other without fear of looking awkward or being judged.
It sounds simple enough, but encouraging open communication is a continuing process that goes beyond employee surveys and performance reports. Again, start at the top so employees know how it’s done.
Teach Everyone to Help One Another
People who help each other respect each other. By nurturing a culture of helping each other whenever possible, employees will have richer and more positive relationships in the workplace. When you encourage everyone to help each other, your employees won’t be afraid to ask for help, which in turn, means tasks are done properly and quickly.
Opening your doors to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age, religion, or nationality shows employees that they can be themselves and still be respected as the people they are. Your leadership; however, must ensure that policies and processes are implemented consistently so everyone feels that they are treated equally and fairly.
Use Employee Ideas to Improve the Workplace
Your employees are a valuable resource, let them know this. Be sure to use your team’s ideas to improve the workplace. Who better to suggest changes than the people who will be affected most by them? And be sure to give credit where it’s due―respect comes from making people feel appreciated.
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