When the pressure is on, you begin to notice that the people you work with change. The work demands placed on individuals influences how they behave. This affects their relationships. And so you begin to experience the domino effect that your fast-paced work environment has on you and those around you. It becomes your new reality. This new reality, filled with speed, electronics, pressure and more, elicits new behaviours and an increased incidence of harassment, bullying and isolation. You may have experienced one or all of them within your workplace and if you have, you will know first-hand the effect this has on organizational culture. The antithesis of this is creating a culture of respect — a culture where diversity is valued, where individuals feel that their contributions are recognized and acknowledged, and finally, a culture where expectations regarding behaviour are clearly articulated and modeled by leadership.
This can be a tall order for the types of organizations we have created, organizations that move at breakneck speed, with technology in the driver’s seat and face-to-face human interaction relegated to the back seat. Despite the evolution of the modern workplace, human needs have not changed. If you have your ear to the ground you will still notice that what people want most is respect and appreciation. These are two fundamental human needs and according to the Gallup Poll’s How Full is Your Bucket, the key ingredients in creating an engaged workforce.
Creating a Culture of Respect
While on the surface respect may seem like a simple concept, I suggest that if you as an organization want to create a culture of respect, there are three significant areas that need to be addressed. These are:
- Relationship respect
- Organizational respect