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Building Respect and Accountability in the Workplace

Building Respect and Accountability in the Workplace

Respect in the Workplace


Every organization must establish a respectful workplace culture. This culture is crucial because it is the heart of an effective health and safety program. Respect and accountability are captured by the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors of workers, supervisors, managers, and owners toward safety in the workplace.


A respectful workplace promotes teamwork, increases productivity, and efficiencies amongst employers and employees. It allows employees to be valued for their abilities, qualities, and achievements, it shows that their role is important for the company’s success.

Being respected and valued promotes a positive work culture where employees are loyal, fulfilled, and motivated to perform at their best. Those who are not respectful to others are unprofessional and a threat to the health of the company (Power DMS, 2019).


Accountability in the workplace fuels successful organizations, but it can be difficult to implement. Accountability in the workplace is about setting and holding people to a common standard by clearly defining the company’s mission, values, and goals. Employee accountability means holding all levels of employees responsible for accomplishing company goals.

While accountability at work is crucial, there also needs to be a balance giving employees freedom within their role(s). They should feel empowered to do their jobs so they can take ownership of their work and strive for improvement. Fostering this culture of employee accountability helps generate a high-performing organization (Miller, 2020).

Building Respect and Accountability in the Workplace


A properly structured health and safety program that follows legislation and addresses accountability are key. It must be implemented in a way that employees embrace, not feel like they are forced into.

Set Clear and Measurable Goals/Expectations

It is important to set clear and measurable goals and expectations right from the beginning of employment. During the onboarding process employers should explain the culture of the organization along with the policies and procedures that come along with it. The employer must inspire an employee from the first encounter to ensure compliance.

Assess the Risk

At every workplace, a risk assessment should be conducted. This should include the nature and circumstances of the work performed, and the interactions between workers and others within the workplace or the public. Risk assessment should consider risk factors associated with violence/harassment, work design and layout, type of work performed, people at the workplace, and a review of any previous incidents of violence.

Have a Harassment / Violence Policy

Employer’s written statement of intent expressing a commitment to preventing acts of workplace Violence or Harassment.
Employer to implement a program that satisfies the Policy with activities designed to prevent Violence or Harassment.
Maintain a program to implement policy.
Signed by CEO annually.
Post in a prominent place.

Examples of Accountability and Respect

It is important to be positive and respectful. To motivate employees, you must be respectful and acknowledge their achievements. A good way to show your employees that you care is to make it a point to verbally congratulate them on their job well done.

Other examples include providing constructive criticism, providing an inclusive work environment, building trust, and understanding what motivates each employee. Leading by example, being a good listener, understanding personal boundaries, exhibiting proper body language, and promoting a good work-life balance also are examples of accountability and respect (Heathfield, 2019).

Building Respect and Accountability in the Workplace

Address Bullying and Incivility

Bullying affects a large population and is associated with many physical and mental health difficulties, leading to absenteeism and an early exit from work. The negative impact of bullying and incivility on health and well-being is tremendous. Although incivility is often described as minor, it must be addressed. Experiencing incivility is associated with psychological distress, burnout, anxiety, depression, and general reduced well-being.

Being respectful demonstrates the value of a proactive rather than a reactive approach, and that a complex problem such as uncivil communication requires a comprehensive, intensive intervention (Hodgins, Fleming, & Griffiths, 2016).


Respect is a requisite for a healthy, professional workplace where employees feel valued performing work that is meaningful to their organization. A business must calculate return on investment for employee engagement, productivity, absenteeism, speed of onboarding, and turnover. A healthy work environment can increase employee retention and boost an organization’s reputation as a great place to work.


Heathfield, S. M. (2019, November 19). How You Can Best Demonstrate Respect in Your

Workplace. Retrieved from

Hodgins, M., Fleming, P., & Griffiths, J. (2016). Promoting health and well-being in the

workplace: beyond the statutory imperative.

Miller, J. (2020). Six Tips to Help you Build a Positive Safety Culture.


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