12 vital signs you have a respectful workplace

12 vital signs you have a respectful workplace


To create the conditions for a respectful workplace to take root and grow requires establishing and embedding a process based on principles rather than goals and targets, a structured approach to participation, and taking advantage of the pivotal timing in group dynamics to build on a breakthrough — with full commitment from the leadership at the top of the organisation to make the changes lasting.

If you aren’t sure if you have a respectful workplace – take a look at our 12 vital signs checklist below and compare it to your workplace. Having a Respectful Workplace is more complex than a checklist but the checklist is a good place to start and gauge how much work is needed in order to achieve a respectful workplace.

Here are 12 vital signs found in respectful workplaces:

People are following the rules:

1. They understand that written rules are a safety net for work conduct. They understand, however, that thoughtlessly following the rules isn’t the goal — they have figured out how to comply with the written rules in a way that meets the spirit of the rules rather than the letter of the rules.

2. People are participating – They are interested in what is happening, in the projects and initiatives that are being pursued. They give credit to those who do the work and to those who help out.

3. People are attempting to resolve problems locally – They attempt to resolve any day-to-day disagreements and hiccups in the way. They get along because they identify poor behaviour respectfully and directly. They have high expectations of each other. They invest time and effort in helping each other get along. When they see things getting out of control, they step in and help each other out.

4. People are performing – They meet reasonable productivity, effort, quality, effectiveness and efficiency expectations. They talk frequently about what they do and how they are do it. They say colleagues do a good, high-quality job.

5.  People are challenging unwritten rules –  They openly speak out against any unhelpful unwritten rules.

6. People are working cooperatively – They share information. Those who have important knowledge or experience relevant to the issue are involved in decision making and they support each other in getting the work done. They consider the expertise and experience of others, and ask each other the tough questions — regardless of rank.

7. People are talking to each other respectfully – They make eye contact, they listen attentively, and they get to finish their sentences.

8. People are getting along with each other – They greet each other and are polite and courteous. They include people in conversations, events and coffee breaks. They have social conversations as well as work conversations. They do what they say they will do — when they say they will do it.

9.  People are speaking up – They make suggestions, they raise problems, they are not afraid to put across their point of view. They can back their ideas with some considered thought.

10. People are running good meetings – They are more concerned about making the best decision than protecting/expanding their turf. Meeting outcomes are documented and actions arising are followed up. Meetings are held frequently and they are an effective and efficient use of time. People turn up to meetings.

11.  People have very clear expectations – They understand their job and are able to do it, and they have the resources necessary to meet the expectations. They are encouraged to develop in their job.

12. People are giving and taking feedback – Frequently and respectfully, they compliment and praise each other in public. They have the tough conversations about performance and behaviour in private. They build more respectful behaviour between people.

If you’ve taken a look at your workplace and realized that your organization is missing the mark on a few of the 12 signs of a Respectful Workplace – contact us to learn more about how ProActive Resolutions can help build a Respectful Workplace at your organization.

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