MARLANT is going beyond the anti-bullying message of Pink Shirt Day this year to promote and emphasize Respect and Civility in the Workplace. On Wednesday February 27 this year, wear your pink shirt to support the message of creating a safe and healthy workplace at MARLANT through respect and civility.
We don’t necessarily have to be best friends with everyone we work with, but we do have to create a respectful workplace where employees are courteous, caring, and considerate in their interactions with one another, as well as with customers, clients and the public.
There are numerous benefits to creating a civil and respectful workplace for the employees, supervisors and the organization. It can lead to higher job satisfaction, greater perceptions of fairness and a more positive attitude among employees. The organization benefits from improved morale, better teamwork, enhanced supervisor-staff relationships, and reduction in sick leave and turnover. People also take a greater interest in personal development, engage in problem solving and enjoy their environment more when people are treated with respect and civility.
Practicing small, everyday acts of civility, care, and consideration can go a long way to help everyone feel safe, comfortable, and respected at work.
Tips for Respect and Civility in the Workplace
- Train and Develop
Provide training and resources on civil and respectful workplace behaviours such as listening, giving feedback, conflict resolution, anger management, and dealing with difficult customers. It’s also important that staff learn to recognize what constitutes uncivil behaviour and how to address it. Health Promotion offers numerous courses that address these issues and are offered to military members, civilian employees and military family members. It is also important that time and support are given to individuals who choose to pursue training and education on civil and respectful workplace behaviours.
- Incorporate Respect and Civility in Your Communications
Adopt non-discriminatory language and maintain the confidentiality of employees’ personal information in all communications. Ensure that communications are easy to find and accessible to all by prominently displaying on bulletin boards, in employee handbooks, or online.
- Give Your Full Attention
Basic respect is the foundation of working relationships. A civil workplace is one where everyone’s input is recognized, valued and where our attention is focused on the conversation at hand. This focus means giving people and meetings your undivided attention. Be sure to turn off your cell phone or any other device that may distract you. If you’re going to be late for a meeting, let the organizer know in advance.
- Use Respectful Language
Please… Thank you… Excuse me… I’m sorry… are words that you can use regularly to establish civility. Express appreciation to co-workers for their help, avoid interrupting others when they are speaking, and apologize with sincerity if you have mistakenly offended someone. These seemingly small gestures all help to contribute to an overall culture of a respectful workplace.
- Say Hello
In an uneasy work environment, it is commonplace for co-workers to not even greet each other. Next time you’re passing a colleague in the hallway or seeing them in the lunchroom, acknowledge them by saying hello. Courtesy is infectious and helps build positive morale.
- Be Considerate When You Speak
Humour in the workplace can take many forms and not all of them are appropriate nor appreciated by everyone. Before making a joke, pause to consider your audience. Is the joke at someone else’s expense? Might it be embarrassing or demeaning? If the answer is yes to any of these, then don’t share the joke.
- Be Inclusive
Be courteous, friendly – these actions foster a positive working culture. Look for opportunities to include others that you may not generally socialize with by acknowledging their birthday, inviting them to lunch, or asking for their input. Everyone wants to be recognized and have a sense of belonging. It can be very rewarding to bridge social barriers to discover new associations.
- Practice Humility
Give others credit when they do a good job. By being modest and raising others, you can contribute to building a culture of generosity and trust, while allowing others to share in the satisfaction of a job well done.
- Be a Role Model
Promote and reinforce respectful leadership behaviour. Provide managers and supervisors with appropriate training and supports, and ensure that they are available, present, and in contact with workers to be able to recognize and resolve issues.
- Address Uncivil Behaviour
In addition to demonstrating the type of behaviour we expect from others, it is equally important for employers to address situations that affect civility. Create and enforce guidelines and policies detailing expectations, and consequences for inappropriate behaviour. Allow for constructive problem-solving. Manage conflicts in an effective and timely fashion, and ensure follow-up with all parties involved.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. (2018). Health and Safety Report, Volume 12, Issue 10. Retrieved from https://www.ccohs.ca/newsletters/hsreport/issues/2018/10/ezine.html#hsreport-tipstools
Dress With A Difference for Pink Shirt Day!
All personnel are encouraged to wear a pink shirt on Wednesday 27 February to show their support. It is our intention to use this day as another opportunity to have Dress With A Difference, civilian clothing day. It is not the plan to move the normal Friday DWD to Wed, but rather have this as another opportunity to wear civilian clothing with a Pink Shirt to promote and emphasize respect and civility in the workplace.
Pink Shirt Photo Challenge
Take a photo of your unit on Pink Shirt Day and send it to Holly Scothorn (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can see which unit had the most participation. Let’s take this opportunity to spread respect and civility – write a caption with your photo submission telling us what your unit does to foster respect and civility in your workplace.