Civility and Respect are not only important in our society, but they are also essential factors to ensure a safe working environment as well. The way employees and clients/customers interact with each other can create a sense of trust and acceptance of diversity, or an environment of exclusion and discrimination.
Exposure to harmful behaviours such as bullying, harassment and violence can cause physical and psychological harm to the both the target and witnesses of these behaviours. The risk of exposure to violence increases in situations where employees are:
- providing care to others impacted by substances or experiencing pain,
- working in law enforcement or high crime areas,
- unable to meet demands for services/products,
- experiencing high job demands with low job control or
- interacting with customers in service, hospitality, or retail industries.
Overt forms of violence can be easier to identify, however microaggressions can have a cumulative negative effect. Microaggressions are subtle or covert forms of discrimination and stereotyping, based upon factors such as ethnicity, skin colour, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and are often indirect and unintentional. Examples microaggressions may include comments such as ‘great work for a girl/your age’ ‘you don’t even look gay/trans’ or mispronouncing someone’s name because it is ‘too hard’ to say.
Exposure to violence or workplace bullying account for 45% of all psychological injury claims and account for 2 of the top 3 mechanisms for psychological injury. (1) Harmful behaviours can lead to burnout, fatigue and emotional exhaustion as well as unresolved conflict and grievances. In contrast, workplaces that have a strong culture around respectful communication and acceptance of diversity report improved morale, enhanced teamwork and an overall positive work environment- which is an attraction for potential staff. When employees feel respected, accepted and valued within their workplace they experience a greater level of job satisfaction, better employee- supervisor relationships and this then translates to enhanced client interactions and satisfaction.
The infographic below provides a simple description of things to look out for and some tips for improving Civility & Respect – if you would like to use this at your workplace as a poster or share as an infographic you can download a high-resolution print version below.
If you would like to talk with us about how HSE Global can help your organisation directly please get in touch!