Is a civil and respectful workplace important? Findings show that disrespectful and uncivil behaviors can drain productivity and have a negative impact on your financial institution’s bottom line. Violations against EEOC-compliance guidelines or federal regulations can leave your institution open to risk. Having the proper training on diversity, inclusion, equity, as well as employment law, can increase performance, collaboration and safety.
Continue reading to unpack what contributes to a civil and respectful workplace!
Why is Doing All You Can to Achieve Civility Important?
In the past several years we have seen a number of important societal changes that have increased awareness of offensiveness and incivility in the workplace. From the #MeToo movement’s focus on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace to increased attention on marginalized race and ethnic groups via horrifying interactions between minorities and the police, there is an increased focus on raising concerns. Given the increased sensitivity in the workplace, leaders certainly need to focus their organizational culture on eliminating incivility and increasing an understanding of bias and how we can minimize its impact on day-to-day interpersonal relationships throughout organizations of all sizes.
What is a Civil and Respectful Workplace?
A civil and respectful workplace is at its core a positive work culture. Where a culture of civility is the norm, people treat one another positively and embrace different ideas (rather than scrutinize them). Civility (or lack thereof) is at the root of many important HR issues such as harassment, discrimination, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Beyond the legal issues, however, is the importance that a workforce performs its duties in an environment where they are comfortable and feel supported by their peers. Additionally, in a civil and respectful workplace, employees are not afraid to voice concerns, and know that there will be no negative consequences if they report an issue to their leaders.
The essential element of a respectful workplace is leadership’s promotion of (and management style via) a mantra of treating others the way you would feel comfortable being treated, thereby promoting the community aspect of work. This sounds simplistic, but it truly is the best way to get the message across to your workforce. Each member of society has identifiable characteristics that make them unique. When differences are celebrated and incorporated into the organizations’ culture there is an inherent drive toward civility. Therefore, it is essential to promote a culture of inclusiveness in order to create a civil and respectful workplace.
Looking to add Diversity, Equity and Diversity training to your training programs?
Bias and the Civil and Respectful Workplace
When working towards workplace civility, it is critical to understand the role of bias in incivility we all have biases, both conscious and unconscious, and naturally gravitate toward those with similar beliefs, interests or backgrounds. All too often there is a focus on eliminating bias in the workplace in order to improve culture. Bias elimination is a misguided theory, however, given the fact many of our own biases are unconscious, and therefore not at the forefront of our self-awareness. Instead of eliminating bias, in order to promote a civil and respectful workplace, we should be mindful of our biases, so as not to allow them to get in the way of tolerance and inclusion of beliefs. When we acknowledge that we have predispositions yet are willing to learn from others whose beliefs, experience and background might be different our minds are able to open, thereby increasing respect and civility toward others.