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HR Insights with Ali: Creating a Respectful Office Environment

Posted on 10/5/2017 by Ali Oromchian, Esq.
Creating a respectful work space sounds easy enough. But in practice, healthy work environments are not as common as they should be. Office problems such as bullying, harassment, and unfair policies can create hostile work environments, making your employees - and you - dread coming into the office. The best approach is to never allow your office to become susceptible to these environments in the first place. Here are some suggestions to make your office a more respectful place:

1. Start from the top down. This means having detailed handbook policies that discourage and empower your staff against bullying. Taking a clear stance against bullying and hostile work environments will allow you to set the tone that these disrespectful environments will not be tolerated. Once your staff is aware that this is a top priority, it will not only discourage malicious behavior, but will also create an open door for your staff to communicate with you when they encounter uncomfortable situations.

2. Address problems immediately at the source. If you have a problem with an office bully, you should never presume that the problem will take care of itself. This is especially true if a complaint has been raised with you or another member of management. In fact, you could be liable as a contributor to a hostile work environment should more serious issues arise. Address the issue right away, making it clear that such behavior will not be tolerated in your practice. By making your stance on bullying known, you can prevent additional issues in the future.

3. Listen to your staffs concerns. This can be one of the most important components for creating a healthy office atmosphere. When your employees know their needs are being respected, they will be more likely to pass that respect on to others. You never want to create an environment in which employees think that they or their concerns are unimportant. In addition, being receptive to your employees is a great way to hear new ideas and encourage open communication, which have long lasting benefits.

By taking a clear stance against hostile work environments, addressing concerns effectively and listening to your employees, you can create a respectful office environment, which is more productive and is simply a happier work space for all.


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