Disrespect at work : A nuisance to consider

What is disrespect at work ? Does it happen in businesses? What are the consequences of disrespectful behaviour? These are the questions which a CROP poll, undertaken for the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréées du Québec, wanted to answer.

Respect, collaboration, politeness, good manners and courtesy are some rules of conduct which ensure well-being within organizations. However, in the reality of their professional lives, workers don’t have good interactions with their colleagues. In fact, two-thirds of the survey’s respondents argue that gossip is very much alive in their workplace, whether against a person or the company. Of them women are particularly sensitive, with three out of four of them having a complaint. In addition to these nuisances, one third of those surveyed noted a lack of collaboration between colleagues, even they have the skills and time to support someone who needs help. While managers have a primary role to play in these situations, more than half of respondents find that they intervene only occasionally, rarely or never.

Preventing and remedying disrespect at work

A real source of stress, disrespectful behaviour generates an unpleasant professional atmosphere, can affect worker’s mental health, result in a loss of productivity and lead to dismissal.

To prevent or remedy disrespectful situations, the Ordre suggests putting in place an explicit code of conduct in organizations. To do this it offers a “Workplace Civility Kit”. The public part shows five videos on civility: its definition, legal obligations, prevention strategies, intervention strategies, consequences and challenges. Four downloadable tools let a portrait of civility within a company be drawn, through a questionnaire to be completed by employees and a guide on compilation and interpretation, and to propose a code of conduct with a pre-made template, and to adopt different strategies to manage disrespect. Finally, the part reserved for subscribers proposes reference documents to go more deeply into the theme (harassment, dismissal, legal provisions, etc.).

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