Safety Tips Office safety

Is your office respectful? Ten tips for getting there

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Does your office pass the “civility test”? Workplaces that are civil and respectful have employees who are caring, considerate and courteous in their interactions with co-workers, clients and the public, notes the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

“For workers, a civil and respectful workplace can translate into greater job satisfaction, greater perceptions of fairness and a more positive attitude,” CCOHS states, adding that “the organization’s bottom line benefits from improved morale, better teamwork, enhanced supervisor-staff relationships, and reduction in sick leave and turnover.”

If this doesn’t sound like your office, don’t fret. CCOHS offers 10 steps to help transform your office into a more respectful workplace:

  1. Train workers. Provide training on conflict resolution, anger management and how to listen better.
  2. Practice what you preach. “Adopt non-discriminatory language and maintain the confidentiality of employees’ personal information in all communications,” CCOHS states.
  3. Pay attention. Show workers respect by giving them your full attention during meetings and recognizing everyone’s input.
  4. Mind your language. Saying “please,” “thank you” and “I’m sorry” can have a big impact. Regularly express appreciation to co-workers for their help, and avoid interrupting others when they’re speaking. Apologize if you have mistakenly offended anyone.
  5. Say “hi.” It’s not uncommon in some work environments for co-workers to essentially ignore each other, so make an effort to say “hello.” Courtesy is infectious.
  6. Be considerate with your humor. Before making a joke, pause and ask yourself, “Is this remark at someone else’s expense? Will it embarrass someone?” If the answer to either is yes, don’t share the joke.
  7. Be inclusive. Look for ways to include co-workers in events or projects by inviting them to lunch or asking for their input.
  8. Be humble. Give others credit when they do a good job.
  9. Be a role model. Train managers and supervisors on how to promote and reinforce respectful leadership behavior.
  10. Don’t let disrespectful behavior stand. Establish policies that detail consequences for inappropriate behavior. Make an effort to manage conflicts in an effective and timely manner, and follow up with everyone involved.

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