“Respect in the workplace is a currency. It is earned through actions over time and between individuals at all levels and in all directions."
Recently I had the opportunity to provide Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) services to one of The Village’s Employee Assistance Program client companies.
The company was going through the loss of an amazing leader. My role was to walk the company’s employees through the short-term and long-term effects of grief and loss and provide coping skills for this loss.
As I spoke with company representatives, I was so impressed with their kindness and mutual respect. This was a company in mourning, and they were still able to focus on the job at hand. I immediately felt welcome, cared for, and valued. Mind you, I was the one that was supposed to be providing services, and here they were, taking care of me. As I met with leadership and different teams, I was continually reminded of the company’s commitment to each other and their mission.
I asked several employees what they felt makes this company amazing, and the responses were loud and clear: “Actions speak just as loud as words here. Leadership treats everyone from corporate to janitor with the same regard and respect.” Many employees shared how, when provided feedback, they always felt respected and often were pushed to challenge themselves and others to be their very best.
My time with this client reminded me how important a healthy corporate culture is to an organization. Trust and respect were evident within the company’s teams. Employees were able to support each other in a difficult time. Everyone honored the loss while working their hardest because of their commitment to leadership and company.
“Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect” – Mona Sutphen
So how do you start building relationships within your team and company?
- Practice the Platinum Rule: “Treat others how they want to be treated.”
- Practice humility.
- Be helpful.
- Respect other people’s time.
And remember: Building healthy environments take time. We are each responsible for creating a healthy and respectful workplace environment.
READ MORE: "Importance of Mutual Respect in the Workplace" by Chitra Reddy of Wisestep
About the Author: Nancy Boyle is an EAP Trainer with The Village Business Institute. She has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Human Resource Management with an emphasis in the Human Services from Valley City State University, and brings 15 years of public speaking and facilitation experience to VBI with a background in program management, training coordination, and volunteer management. Her certifications include: MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Credentialed Advocate (Advanced Level) with designation of Comprehensive Victim Intervention Specialist; Volunteer Impact Leadership – MN Association of Volunteer Administrators; and Technology of Participation Facilitation Methods – The Institute of Cultural Affairs. To learn more about training opportunities provided by VBI, call 1-800-627-8220 or email VBI.