Respectful treatment of all employees has been cited as the number one contributor to job satisfaction. Mutual respect is one of the keys to positive relationships and psychological safety in the workplace. By creating an environment where everyone feels welcomed, fairly treated, and fully supported, mutual respect is a likely outcome.
What is Respect?
Many of us have been learning about respect from a young age. In elementary school we likely learned that respect is being kind to others or treating others how we would like to be treated. These acts are part of it, however when we think respect in the workplace as adults, the definition goes further. Respect is the foundation of humane and ethical behaviour, underpinning good relationships. To have true respect for someone, it means having a fundamental belief in their right to exist, to be heard and to have the same opportunities as everyone else. It means recognizing differences, understanding their significance, and responding with interest, politeness and care when someone speaks or shares.
What is Mutual Respect?
Mutual respect in the workplace is based on the belief that a variety of backgrounds, abilities and viewpoints are a positive part of your team. Mutual respect plays a guiding role in face-to-face meetings, written communications, body language and the ways people behave together. It means tackling difficult conversations with tact and diplomacy.
Importance of Mutual Respect
A lack of mutual respect in the workplace can get in the way of work and can also damage relationships and self-esteem. It can also lead to illegal or unethical behaviour such as bullying and harassment.
Other benefits of mutual respect in the workplace include
-Improved well-being and decreased absenteeism
-More positive focused working atmosphere
-Trusted and open communication
-Collaborative decision making
-Better creativity, problem solving and innovation
-More high-quality applicants for jobs
-Increased loyalty among staff – leading to better retention of valued people
-A reputation for fairness and ethical strength
Ways to build a culture of mutual respect and trust
-Listen to each other
-Show employees that you care
-Help and support each other
-Create space for everyone to be their full selves
Mutual respect is an important piece in the psychological health and safety puzzle. It creates workplaces where everyone feels safe to be their full selves. It has far reaching benefits for not only individuals but also the organization. However, it's not a given and takes effort on the part of everyone involved to make it a part of your organization's culture.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today to see how we can support you in building a positive workplace culture.