How to Create a Respectful Work Environment

Workplaces that allow rudeness between employees will see their overall performance suffer, according to Harvard Business Review. When disagreements, incivility, and unprofessionalism are a part of the workplace culture, employees are less likely to give their all to their job and customers suffer the most.

The relationships your employees have with each other matter. Unfortunately, in many workplaces, a few unkind employees set the tone of the entire company. When people are forced to spend time with jerks, they respond with self-preservation, choosing to be selfish even when a kindness makes the most sense, according to YaleNews. Rudeness is contagious, it can wreck the workplace, and your customers will suffer.

Benefits of a Respectful Work Environment

If the negative impacts of rudeness in the workplace aren’t convincing enough, you should know that there are many benefits to making sure your employees feel respected at work. First of all, we know that a supportive culture is good for the workplace since employees naturally respond with cooperation. They’re more willing to work as a team if they feel like a respected member of that team.

Secondly, we know that when employees feel that the leaders in the company are civil more often than not, they actually catch their mistakes sooner, according to Oxford Handbook Online. The overall emotional safety they feel in their workplace allows them to be more mindful of their actions, helping them to avoid errors.

Lastly, when employees feel psychologically safe and respected in their workplace, they’re better at their jobs. These employees are more creative, they process information more accurately, and perform better than those working in less civil workplaces, according to the journal Human Relations.

Three Keys to a Respectful Work Environment

If your water damage restoration company doesn’t have a respectful work environment, you problem already see the consequences in employee performance. Employees are on edge, they have conflict over both work and nonwork issues, and they’re rude to clients. Repairing the culture in your business won’t happen overnight, but following these three keys will certainly make it easier.

Start with You

The leadership in a company will make or break the culture in the workplace. Because of this, we suggest beginning with self-evaluation. How do you interact with your employees? Do you show them you value them or are rude and disrespectful on a regular basis. As the business owner, your actions matter. Creating a respectful environment is impossible if you aren’t willing to change yourself.

If you find that your attitude is a part of the problem, we suggest finding a mentor you can talk with about your frustrations at work. Seeing how another professional in leaderships interacts with their employees and resolves conflicts is a great way to find encouragement for changing your own behaviors.

Create Clear Expectations

Next, we recommend that you clearly communicate your expectations for the workplace. Make sure your employees know that rudeness and incivility are no longer tolerated within the workplace and involve them in brainstorming sessions aimed to encourage kindness within your company.

In many cases, this will require adopting a few ground rules for how employees talk with each other. Some companies may benefit from making certain topics, like politics, off limits during work hours.

Creating clear expectations for your employees will only work if you follow up. Because of this, we believe respectfulness and attitude must be a part of regular employee evaluations. It is your job as the leader in a company to point out improvements your employees have made and to call them out when they’re being rude or difficult to work with. In some cases, you may have to part ways with talented water damage restoration specialists because they’re unwilling to get on board with the new company culture.

Adopt a Solution Oriented Mindset

Lastly, it is important to expect to experience setbacks as you work to transform the culture of your company. Your employees will still disagree with each other and with you. There will still be days when it feels like a dark cloud is hanging over your workplace.

Moving forward, your company will need to adopt a solution oriented mindset. This means that, when conflict arises in your workplace, you plan to actively work towards resolution. Employees must be involved in this process, actively working towards finding common ground and developing new goals and guidelines for their interactions with each other moving forward.

At More Floods, we understand just how difficult it can be to make lasting changes to the culture of your company. By offering the members of our network systems for automating their marketing and operational tasks, we help business owners find more time for focusing on their company’s needs, like employee engagement.

If your water damage restoration company could benefit from the training and operational resources we offer our members, click here or call 1-866-667-3356 to learn more about becoming a part of the More Floods network.

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