Create a social work culture in which respectful practises are proactively encouraged!

In a nutshell ‘sell’ being respectful company-wide…

1. Develop a Respectful Workplace.

Create a clear process that will re-enforce your commitment to creating a Respectful Workplace.

  • Include a code of conduct,
  • confidential reporting procedures (removed from the direct business units),
  • steps to ensure managers and supervisors are trained and coached to execute and uphold policy in the workplace
    • with clear indicators of achievements,
    • clearly outlined expected outcomes,
    • communication coaching measures for employees who engage in disrespectful or harassment behavior to learn more effective interpersonal skills, and
    • a process which informs and encourage mangers/supervisors to engage.

2. Gain management/supervisors ownership to be committed and publicise this to the workforce.

The critical factor to having a successful impact of removing these behaviors, comes from your manager and supervisor teams buying into the importance of resolving conflict in the social work environment.

When they “live” and engage in the actions to remove these behaviors on the work floor, as the incidents occur, they give power to you company’s commitment of creating a respectful workplace.

The indicator you have their commitment and engagement is they are:

  • conducting proper investigations into complaints and submitting them to the proper team for review,
  • ensuring there is council and education when there is a breach of the policy (e.i; coaching staff on conflict management), and
  • they are constantly reviewing both the social work environment and the process for methods of improvement.

To stimulate commitment and engagement have lunch and learn meetings where people bring new ideas on how to manage various types of conflicts and new anti-bullying strategies to implement.

As well, create a “think” team to help solve the harder to handle conflicts.

3. Engage employees in the process; encourage them to have ownership and commitment to the policy.

The larges resource your company has to create a strong movement for respect in the workplace is through empowering your employee force.

As a leader, create the expectation that these behaviors are not condoned nor accepted in the workplace; enforce this by your actions and engagement to resolve issues immediately. The employee group norm will be to adapt and mirror your actions, for most members, and this will result in it becoming a rule within the work group dynamic.

The key factor to this working is; the leader needs to constantly nurture and cultivate a respectful work culture to ensure it grows and multiples throughout the various work groups of your company.


Article by: Tamara Parris, Business Genie; or call 416-548-4237