6: The Importance of Heathy Workplace Culture w/ Fran Sepler

Does your work environment provide respect, fairness, and safety? Those are the three key attributes of a healthy workplace culture in which people contribute their best ideas and efforts.

Too often we overlook the small behaviors that can have a major negative impact. When people perceive that they’re unsafe or undervalued at work, they engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms such as gossip, battling for territory, and disengagement.

Today’s guest, Fran Sepler, an expert in building respectful workplaces free from harassment, shares the perils of an unhealthy culture, the benefits of a truly respectful one, and what we can do as managers to help create a workplace environment in which everyone thrives.

Key Takeaways:

  • Safety (physical and psychological) and fairness are two critical aspects of a respectful workplace.
  • When people perceive that they are unsafe or undervalued at work, they may engage in unhealthy coping mechanisms like gossiping, creating alliances to claim territory or status, withdrawing, and disengaging.
  • When you feel disrespected, your whole attitude can be impacted, making you more likely to be disrespectful to others.
  • We generally have the same definition of what it looks and feels like to be respected and disrespected.
  • Once you’ve recognized that disrespectful behavior is an issue, you can create ground rules to address it.
  • Ask for feedback on how you’re doing. View feedback as a gift. Even if you don’t like what you hear, say ‘thank you.’
  • If a high performer who accomplishes great work treats others poorly, stop considering them a high performer.
  • You must take into consideration the negative effects of someone’s behavior on other people = they are depressing or inhibiting other people’s performance.
  • Managers must address even the ‘little things’ that you may be inclined to let slide. Other people see them and are counting on you to role model.

Read the article based on this episode: Why Respectful Workplaces are More Important than You Think

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Check out episode 3 – Building a Culture of Respect – for more on this topic. Get the guide to building a culture of respect.

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