respectful workplace environment


While people may be initially motivated to apply for a job because they have the skills required or the pay is sufficient, a respectful workplace  environment that is inclusive is what inspires these people to stay. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, ”respectful treatment of all employees” is the primary reason for job satisfaction.

That being said, many businesses market that they support a respectful atmosphere. When push comes to shove, this is rarely built into their group behavior norms, core values or mission.

So then the question is, if you really want to inspire a respectful workplace environment, and thus encourage your employees to stay, how do you achieve it? Here are some simple ways to build respect into the structure of your workplace. 

Avoid the tendency to gossip or complain about customers or fellow employees to build a respectful workplace environment.

Gossip and complaining are verbal poison that affects everyone around you.  Most likely it will come back around to haunt you in the long run. Do everyone a favor and don’t participate or even silently affirm by giving a listening ear. It is violence plain and simple.

Encouraging negativity and gossip hurts those who are spoken about. It taints people’s minds who do not have the entire story. It also makes an impression on those who have yet to meet the person. If a problem arises that needs to be solved, bring it up in a constructive way.

How can you help that customer that is always grumpy have a better experience? Is there something you need to bring up to your fellow employee that you feel needs to be resolved in order for your relationship to improve? Politely confront them and work together to make a compromise. Through actively inspiring a respectful workplace environment you will create a more supportive, positive experience. 

Support those who have different opinions than you do.

Everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences. Therefore, it makes sense that people will have differing opinions. Work on inspiring a respectful workplace environment by being charitable toward those around you.

Instead of brushing off someone else’s opinion, ask why they hold that viewpoint. What experiences have they had, who have they met, what articles have they read that have convinced them of this? Why is it important to them? Asking questions and being genuinely interested in learning more about their opinion will not only give you better insight into your coworkers, but you may even find a common ground. Even if it does happen that you end up agreeing to disagree, make sure to still support that person by being respectful of their decision. 

Realize that conflict will arise and always take responsibility for your actions.

Whether or not you are the best or the worst at handling conflict, it will arise. Maybe it happens rarely, but in most workplaces conflict occurs fairly frequently. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

When conflict is handled properly, communication takes the lead. When people understand there is something wrong or that someone disagrees with them, it clearly shows there is a conflict that is waiting to be resolved.

Be sure to quickly and honestly recognize when you are at fault or have added to a problem. Not only does taking responsibility for your actions diffuse the situation,  it also communicates that you are willing to negotiate and change. Inspire a respectful workplace environment by being the first to take responsibility and kindly recognizing those who follow your lead. 

Treat everyone fairly and kindly.

No matter their religion, race, gender, or age, everyone deserves respect. Nothing changes the fact that everyone you work with is human and they are worth just as much as you are. Remember being taught the golden rule by your kindergarten teacher or parents? Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. This, more than anything else, inspires a respectful workplace environment. It does not matter if you have worked for the company longer or are older than everyone else. If that were the case, where would fresh, new ideas come from?

If you desire respect to be an inherent part of your workplace, let it start with you. As the people around you recognize that you value respect, others will begin to value it as well.

Take a minute to think about where your company falls on the spectrum of disrespect to respect. Does the culture within your workplace inspire employees and customers to be respectful to each other? How do you inspire those around you to be charitable and understanding? Creating a positive workplace environment begins with you.

Want to learn more about how to inspire a respectful workplace?

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Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

genuine feedbackTIGERS® Success Series provides a comprehensive, multi-pronged and robust system for improving both your work environment and profitability.

We specialize in building workforce cooperation and high performance team outcomes. Scaled to grow as your organization and leadership performance grows, our proprietary Team Behavior Profile and  Management training workshops are based on the six principles we have found to be the right mix to make this happen.

The TIGERS 6 Principles are Trust, Interdependence, Genuineness, Empathy, Risk and Success. Born from our many years of business, psychology, and educational group dynamic research, and subsequent four years of independent evaluation, we instill and sustain behaviors that improve work group performance and talent retention for measurable ROI.

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