One task that people with an organizational development degree may have in the workplace is to foster a culture of workplace respect. Encouraging workplace respect is less about reading up on the latest management techniques and more about creating genuine relationships in the workplace. Here are four ways to do that.
People want clarity and transparency in the workplace, and they want to feel they are listened to. This can be encouraged with an open-door policy that encourages employees to go to supervisors with any issues they have and an assurance that those issues will be taken seriously. People should understand their own and others’ roles in the organization. One-on-one meetings and surveys can help management ascertain where there may be weaknesses in communication. Even if there is conflict, people can remain respectful and remember that they are working toward common goals.
Forbes points out that extending trust creates an overall atmosphere of trust among employees, supervisors and customers or clients. One element of that trust is acting on feedback from employees. Open communication is important, but employees will feel that their input is not valued if they continually communicate about issues and nothing changes. This does not necessarily mean that an employer will always give employees exactly what they ask for, but it does mean that employees will feel confident that their feedback has been considered and that there is a good reason for a supervisor’s decision to handle it differently.
In an organization where there is a culture of respect, employees work to support rather than undermine one another. The organization as a whole should offer this support as well. Too often, organizations end up with burned-out employees because they have not given them the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. Employers need to respect what employees tell them about those needs. In some cases, this could mean hiring more employees or delegating tasks to other teams so a single employee does not become overloaded. A person with an organizational developmental degree might help develop processes for dealing with employee needs for additional workplace support.
Encourage Authenticity and Accountability
Respect will thrive in workplaces where people can feel they can be themselves and where they take responsibility for the work they do. One common problem in workplaces is a culture in which everyone blames issues on other employees, teams or on someone higher or lower on the management structure. There are several ways to boost accountability. In addition to the aforementioned communication, trust and support, people should be allowed ownership of their work as opposed to being micromanaged. Challenges that arise or mistakes that are made should not be approached in a punitive manner but with a problem-solving mindset. Employees should also be empowered to solve issues that arise without having to go to management every time.
There are no shortcuts to building a workplace culture of respect, but it will make for a stronger organization that has fewer issues with employee retention. Individuals with an organizational development degree are equipped with the tools to encourage this culture in the workplace.