Respectful Workplace—What is It and How to Build It? 2023 Guide


What Makes a Respectful Workplace? Why Is Respect in the Workplace Important? How Can A Respectful Culture Be Created At Work? Find all the information you need in this post.

It’s common to hear the phrase “respectful workplace culture,” but what does that actually mean?

Is it treating your employees like royalty and putting them on a pedestal?

Or could it be more than that?

An office setting where respect for one another is valued has a positive workplace culture. It is a culture where everyone is encouraged to contribute to the success of the company and feels valued and respected.

If you treat your employees well, they will probably treat you well in return.

Additionally, it involves fostering a culture of mutual respect and safety among staff members.

Although creating a respectful workplace is challenging, using these pointers can help you succeed.

Continue reading for a thorough guide to fostering loyalty and pride in the workplace.

What is a Respectful Workplace?

A respectful workplace is one:

  • that fosters a feeling of safety and security,
  • where employees feel comfortable and confident,
  • where they know that the company cares about them as people, and
  • where people felt listened to and heard.

In other words, developing strong relationships between employees and managers is the key to a respectful workplace.

Why is Respect Important in the Workplace?

Respect is a two-way street.

Nobody will want to work with you any longer if you don’t treat your coworkers with respect; after all, why should they?

Our interactions with one another while working or just spending time together influence how we each view ourselves.

By encouraging trust within organizations (i.e., “theirs” vs. “ours”).

What Are the Benefits of a Respectful Workplace Culture?

A respectful work environment is a great place to be.

Employees who feel valued and appreciated are more dependable and productive.

Here are a few benefits of respectful workplace culture:

  • Increases Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the condition of being completely invested in and enthusiastic about your work.

Employees are more likely to be engaged in their work and give tasks their all if they feel their superiors respect them.

Additionally, because workers put more effort into their work than they would have if they didn’t have a good relationship with the person giving them instructions or providing feedback on how the business’ operations can be improved, productivity is increased.

  • Contributes To Job Satisfaction

Employee engagement at work and job satisfaction are both higher when they feel respected by their employer.

Also read: What is High-Performance Management

  • Facilitates Creativity

A respectful workplace fosters open communication among staff members, allowing everyone to access information from their colleagues without having to ask for it directly. This promotes creativity and innovation.

As a result of people feeling comfortable sharing their ideas with others in a work environment, creative ideas are more likely to emerge.

  • Promotes Loyalty And Pride

Employees who feel valued by their employer are more likely to stick with their tasks and deliver results that benefit the company as a whole.

As a result, these workers are less likely to leave their jobs in search of better ones and more inclined to feel loyal to their employers.

  • Decreases Lost Time

It’s simpler for people to work on tasks independently when they have good working relationships with their coworkers.

Because they know that their coworkers will be there for them when they need assistance or support, they are less likely to be late or miss work, which boosts productivity and cuts down on lost time!

  • Increases Collaboration

Teams are more likely to cooperate and work together in an environment that values respect, which boosts productivity and improves outcomes for the business.

When it comes to making difficult decisions or having difficult conversations, employees are also likely to support one another.

The trust that their coworkers have in them also gives them a sense of power, which leads to more mutual respect on the team (which can promote personal development).

10 Ways You Can Contribute to a Workplace Respect Culture

You are a representative of the company when you enter the building.

Others will want to follow your example if you have a strong work ethic and are a pleasure to work with.

The ten ways you can help foster respect at work and foster a positive environment for everyone are listed below.

1. Do Not Gossip At The Workplace

In addition to being disrespectful, gossiping at work increases the risk of harassment and discrimination. While it may seem harmless to amuse oneself or make a point, office gossip can have a negative impact on the workers there.

2. Do Not Use Profanity

In the workplace, profanity is never acceptable. It is disrespectful, offends people, and conveys poorly on you as a worker and person.

Use appropriate language, and speak in a respectful manner. It will support the development of a culture of respect at work and foster a welcoming and secure environment for all.

3. Do Not Put People Down

Never belittle anyone in front of other people, whether by making fun of them, laughing at them, speaking down to them, etc.

Instead, work on increasing your self-confidence so you can defend yourself when someone is being mean to you or making fun of you in front of others or behind your back. That way, no one will ever again have a reason to belittle you.

4. Greet People At The Workplace

As a part of your duty as an employer or employee, you must say hello to your coworkers every day. The way you greet someone conveys your value to them and your interest in how they are finding their day.

The workplace’s morale is raised and productivity is increased thanks to this approach!


5. Count An Employee Contribution

By accounting for each employee’s monthly contributions toward your company’s objectives, you can demonstrate your appreciation for their diligent work.

You could demonstrate the amount of effort each employee has put into assisting your business’ growth by adding up the hours spent working on projects or tasks around the office each week.

6. Do Not Discriminate Against People

People are frequently treated differently in the workplace based on their race or gender, which is considered discrimination. If you see another employee being mistreated, don’t add to the issue by treating them unfairly.

Instead, make an effort to comprehend the person’s actions and how to change them. It will aid in putting an end to prejudice at work and guarantee that everyone is treated with respect regardless of race or gender.

7. Do Not Be Insensitive To Employee Needs

When you see a worker struggling at work with their workload or assignments, it’s important to be considerate of their needs and make suggestions for how they can improve their performance.

They can do this by taking breaks when necessary or requesting more resources, for example, so they can finish their work quickly and effectively without needing assistance every time they want something done correctly.

8. Distraction During Work

It’s a big one, and it’s one of the most typical ways that people contribute to a respectful workplace environment.

Talking on your phone during a meeting or working with coworkers who aren’t paying attention to the task at hand are examples of distractions. Distractions, though, are as much a matter of attitude as they are of behavior, so it’s crucial to keep this in mind.

Aim to avoid distracting others by talking or using your phone while in a meeting if you don’t want to be the source of their attention.

9. Strong Communication Practice

Employees frequently contribute to a respectful work environment through effective communication techniques, such as setting clear expectations before beginning a task and providing feedback after finishing it.

You can avoid misunderstandings and frustration later on when things don’t go as planned by being clear about what is expected of you!

10. Defend Employees

If someone is being treated unfairly at work, speak up on their behalf. This one goes without saying. If someone isn’t in any way, shape, or form improving their team or workplace, don’t allow them to abuse their position of power over someone else!

Read more: What is Autocratic Leadership? Explanation & Example

Statistics You Need to Know About Respectful Workplaces

In addition to the previously mentioned observations, additional statistics highlight the significance of creating a respectful workplace.

According to the Harvard Business Review:

  • 98% of employees have reported experiencing uncivil behavior
  • 62% of employees report being treated rudely at least once a month

The same article reports that among workers who were treated with incivility:

  • 8% intentionally decreased their work effort
  • 47% intentionally decreased the time spent at work
  • 38% intentionally decreased the quality of their work
  • 78% said their commitment to the organization declined
  • 12% of employees said they’ve left a job because of uncivil treatment

From HR Acuity [6], we learn yet another shocking statistic. The company discovered that while 85% of employees claimed to know how and where to report instances of inappropriate workplace behavior and harassment, 39% said they lacked confidence that their complaints would be treated fairly. What’s more alarming is that 46% of respondents said they feared reprisals.

The American Psychological Association provided our final statistic. According to the organization, workplace stress costs the United States money. economy $500 billion a year. Furthermore, stress-related absences from work account for 550 billion lost working days annually, 60 to 80 percent of workplace accidents, and more than 80 percent of doctor visits.

Read more:

Examples of Respectful Behavior

Every Ithaca College employee is entitled to a respectful working environment. In order to promote and sustain a workplace where all employees are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their status or position, each employee is expected to abide by these values and standards of interpersonal behavior, communication and professionalism:

  • We respect and value the contributions of all members of our community, regardless of status or role in the organization;
  • We treat employees with respect, civility, and courtesy;
  • We work honestly, effectively and collegially with employees and others;
  • We respect and value the views and opinions of others, even though they may differ from our own;
  • We resolve to work together with respectful and courteous verbal communication, to listen openly and effectively manage disagreements among employees;
  • We respect the needs, views and expectations of our students, members of the general public and others who study, work, or visit our community;
  • We recognize that differing social and cultural standards may mean that behavior that is acceptable to some may be perceived as unacceptable or unreasonable to others;
  • We abide by applicable rules, regulations, policies and bylaws and address any dissatisfaction with, or violation of, policies and procedures through appropriate channels;
  • We demonstrate commitment to continuous personal and professional learning and development;
  • We are responsible stewards of material and human assets to achieve excellence and innovation in the education of our students and the creation and sharing of knowledge across all disciplines;
  • We respect the property and personal interests of those around us, including those of the College itself;
  • If we are in positions of leadership, we set an example for others by acting with decorum, setting forth clear guidelines for how coworkers are to conduct themselves, holding people accountable for their actions, and being receptive to complaints when they are made.

Read more: What is Facilitative Leadership? Pros & Cons

Examples of Disrespectful Behavior

All Ithaca College employees are expected to act in a manner that complies with this and other pertinent college policies. Examples of disrespectful behavior can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Use of threatening or abusive language, profanity or language that is intended to be, or is perceived by others to be, demeaning, berating, rude, threatening, intimidating, hostile or offensive;
  • Engage in bullying, collusion or hazing;
  • Microaggressions;
  • Making threats of violence, retribution, litigation, or financial harm; shouting or engaging in other speech, conduct or mannerisms that are reasonably perceived by others to represent intimidation or harassment;
  • Using racial or ethnic slurs; demonstrating racial, gender, sexual orientation, or cultural bias;
  • Making or telling denigrating jokes that are intended to be, or that are perceived by others to be, crude or offensive; teasing, name calling, ridicule or making someone the brunt of pranks or practical jokes;
  • Using of epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping;
  • Distributing or displaying electronic or written materials or messages that are abusive, profane, threatening, defamatory or offensive material that is placed on walls or elsewhere on University premises, or is circulated in the workplace;
  • Using sarcasm or cynicism directed as a personal attack on others;
  • Making unwanted or threatened inappropriate physical contact;
  • Throwing tools, office equipment, or objects as an expression of anger, criticism, or threat, or in an otherwise disrespectful or abusive manner;
  • Making comments or engaging in behavior that is untruthful or directed as a personal attack on the professional conduct of others;
  • Retaliation;
  • Engaging in any pattern of disruptive behavior or interaction that could interfere with the workplace or adversely impact the quality of services, education or patient care;
  • Conditioning employment terms on submission to harassing conduct, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, etc;
  • Any kind of harassment is unacceptable. Disciplinary action, including termination, may be taken against any employee who harasses another. For matters of sexual harassment, the College has its own set of guidelines. The Sexual Harassment Policy should be consulted by any employee who has a problem with or complaint about sexual harassment in general.

Conclusion: a Respectful Workplace

A respectful workplace is one where
all employees are treated fairly,
difference is acknowledged and
valued, communication is open and
civil, conflict is addressed early and
there is a culture of empowerment
and cooperation.

How do you get started now that you know:

  • what a respectful workplace looks like and
  • how to build one for your organization?

Start by recognizing your values and making sure they are reflected in how your business operates.

After that, consider developing an atmosphere where individuals are respected and valued.

You can start with basic gestures such as saying “good morning” or “have a nice day,” but don’t stop there!

Consider providing opportunities for team members to assume responsibility outside of their regular job responsibilities.

Find ways for them to contribute to the overall success of their organization rather than just assigning them tasks, so they don’t need to ask their manager how much time they want each week.

Respectful environments at work will inspire workers to perform at their best.

What do you think?

Do you want to train your managers and staff on respect in the workplace?