Respect is a key component to a healthy work environment.
We can either feel motivated and valued, or discouraged and neglected, and the difference often comes down to our own personal experiences.
It’s also something we can take for granted because – for most of the time- people treat each other with mutual respect and kindness at work.
However when someone doesn’t hold themselves to that same standard, it can have a demoralising effect, leaving us feeling insecure about our own abilities.
This month we will be focussing on #Respect to help promote a positive work culture as well as sharing our new Trust values which have been developed by staff and should guide us all in everything that we do.
Give a little respect
People don’t always see eye-to-eye and there are many things colleagues might disagree about at work – the best way to meet a deadline, solving an issue on a ward… It’s human nature that we all have different perspectives and outlooks – what’s important is that we handle those situations with a mutual respect and professionalism.
In a Flourish survey we carried out earlier this year, the key themes which staff said were important were consideration to all team members, mutual respect and being mindful of each other.
Being respected and valued not only promotes a positive work culture but enables us all to perform at our best. It lets us know we are valued for the contribution we make and that all of our roles are important in creating an ‘outstanding’ organisation.
But respect isn’t just about what we say, it can be heard in a person’s tone of voice, by non-verbal communication, it can be observed by how we listen to people, the extent to which we participate in conversation and whether we treat people professionally.Download the respect poster
Tips for respectful communications
Treat people with courtesy, politeness and kindness at all times.
Encouraging people to express their opinions and ideas increases innovation in teams. Remember to say thank you, it doesn’t take long to recognise a job well done.
Mistakes are lessons learned. Ask yourself what went wrong? What could we do better next time? What did we learn from this?
Always treat people how you would expect to be treated. Be aware of your body language, the tone of voice, your demeanour and expression in all of your interactions at work. People hear what you’re saying via other signals as well listening to your words.
It brings new ideas, perspectives and skills. When respect is shown sense of fairness is established.
Consider the consequences
In workplaces with little or no respect, employees report more conflicts,
misunderstandings, lower attendance and productivity.
Take a few seconds to think before you speak.
We all communicate – it’s an extremely important aspect of our everyday lives but also so easy to overlook or get wrong!
Good communication skills help to develop and maintain effective relationships, eliminate any misunderstandings and encourage a healthy work environment.
- improves working relationships
- contributes to job satisfaction
- reduces stress
- improves knowledge sharing and problem solving
- reduces conflict
Become an engaged listener
Effective communication is less about talking and more about listening and understanding people’s emotions. When you really listen you’ll pick up subtle signs and changes in someone’s voice that tell you how that person is feeling and the emotions they’re trying to communicate.
Emotional awareness and management
Have an awareness of your own – and other people’s – emotions and how to manage them. It‘s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everything should be logical and that emotion has no place. However an awareness of emotions, both positive and negative, will improve communication.
Pay attention to non-verbal signals
Messages we want to get across aren’t just spoken. Our body language including facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture and the tone of voice can make up to 80% of the message we want to communicate. Your words may be saying one thing, your body another!
Questioning is a crucial skill to ensure that you have understood someone’s message correctly. People with good questioning skills are often seen as very good listeners.
Understand how your position and life experiences shape you and the differences between you and the person you are communicating with. Take time to understand each other’s point of view.
You can’t communicate effectively when you’re multi-tasking. If you’re checking your phone, planning what you’re going to say next, you’re almost certain to miss non-verbal cues in the conversation. Avoid distractions and stay focussed.
No matter who you’re speaking to, what your mutual history is, what kind of day you’re having or whatever other factors you bring to the table, good manners are a constant must.Tips for respectful communications
Raising concerns at work
We have an open and transparent culture of safety and learning to protect our patients and staff. Everyone should feel engaged, safe and confident to raise concerns. It’s key to rectifying and resolving issues and also underpins a shared commitment to making continuous improvement.
How to raise concerns
- In the first instance, if possible, raise concerns with a line manager or supervisor
- Escalate to a senior manager if this is not appropriate or no action has been taken
- Contact your HR Officer for help and advice
- Speak to a Trade Union representative
- Seek an initial discussion with a trained contact officer
- Raise concerns with the staff networks using their confidential email addresses
- Contact a local equality champion
- Use ‘Speak in Confidence’
- Contact the Freedom to Speak up Guardian
Our commitment to staff
- We will Actively promote a culture of openness and accountability
- Create a culture where all staff are treated appropriately
- Provide a working environment which is free from harassment, intimidation, bullying or victimisation
- Encourage staff to raise concerns
Core and professional leadership behaviours
As a member of staff you have the right:
- to be treated with dignity and respect
- to work in safe and healthy conditions
- not to be threatened or subject to inappropriate or offensive language
- not to be discriminated against
Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
- The Trust has appointed an independent Freedom to Speak Up Guardian
- An impartial point of contact to support, signpost and advise staff who wish to raise serious issues / concerns
- Email: [email protected] or call 07807671728
Speak in confidence
- An anonymous dialogue system
- A secure web-based system run by a third-party supplier enabling staff to engage in a dialogue with senior leaders in the Trust; safe in the knowledge that they cannot be identified
Equality & Diversity
We value and celebrate diversity at Newcastle Hospitals and aim to be an ’employer of choice’ where all of our staff share core values, passion and a commitment to make a difference. We have three network groups which are open to all members of staff and anyone working in our organisation on a regular basis.
If you want to join a staff network or become an equality champion, you don’t need to identify as LGBT, Disabled or BAME to join one of our networks, anyone with an interest in equality and inclusion is very welcome.