Respect in the Workplace

Respect Matters

Respect means:

  • Treating others at work with respect
  • Actively listening to others and trying to see different perspectives
  • Being mindful of your words, actions, and assumptions
  • Avoiding judgement or jumping to conclusions
  • Respecting everyone’s work and recognizing everyone’s contributions

Serious problems like bullying, harassment, discrimination, and even violence are the extreme end of a lack of respect at work. However, subtler forms of lack of respect can really take a toll  on the entire workplace. Gossip, rude comments, refusing to acknowledge coworkers or their contributions, inappropriate jokes, and favouritism are some examples of lack of respect in the workplace.

Respect does not mean ignoring problems, conflicts, or disagreements. Instead, it’s a way to proactively deal with problems at work in a way that makes everyone feel respected.

Respect does not mean ignoring problems, conflicts, or disagreements.


Why Does This Matter

Respect helps everyone work well together and get the job done. People who say they have respect in their workplace say that:

  • They feel more positive about their work and feel like part of the team
  • They have better communication with others at work
  • They can better manage trickier issues like disagreements
  • They are more interested in personal and career development
  • They are more likely to stay with their employer
  • They have better mental health overall

Respect is part of a healthy workplace. As people experience small acts lack of respect over time, their mental and physical health may suffer. Safety problems come up when people can’t communicate well, are excluded from conversations, or fear retribution if they report a concern.


What Can I do About it?

If you are interested in learning more and getting involved in respect initiatives at work, you can:

  • Talk to your manager about respect training at your workplace
  • Connect with your workplace’s Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee
  • Connect with your Occupational Health and Safety Steward

If you’ve experienced bullying or harassment at work, learn how to take action and prevent incidents,  take a moment to refer to SafeWork Manitoba’s guide to preventing harassment in the workplace: Preventing Harassment in the Workplace (






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