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Respect in Our Workplace


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I am responsible for:
respect in our workplace

At The City, we are all responsible for making life better every day for ourselves, our citizens and for future generations. To do this we welcome and respect individual and collective contributions from our employees, citizens and partners.

Respect is the foundation for a productive and thriving workplaceAny location where City work is being or may be conducted including work-based social gatherings. A workplace can include City buildings, vehicles, off-site meetings, customer sites or telework locations.. It is ingrained in our values and culture. The City is committed to supporting a safe, respectful and inclusive work environment.

Whether you are representing The City from your cubicle, from your flexible workstation or from a City vehicle, you are expected to behave in a respectful manner in every interaction, every day.

While creating and sustaining a respectful workplaceAny location where City work is being or may be conducted including work-based social gatherings. A workplace can include City buildings, vehicles, off-site meetings, customer sites or telework locations. is a collective effort, there are many things we can do on our own to make The City a great place to work. Here are some of the important actions we can do to create a vibrant, caring and inclusive workplaceA positive work environment that welcomes, supports, respects and values individuals for their differences, perspectives, talents and contributions..

Be inclusive:

  • Consider thoughts, opinions and ideas that are different from your own.
  • Be watchful to create and protect a discriminationDiscriminatory or harassing behaviours include: behaviours, comments or actions which are unwelcome, that are based on a prohibited ground of discrimination and result in a negative or poisoned work environment. This includes practices, policies or systems that have a direct or adverse impact on someone based on a protected ground. and harassmentDiscriminatory or harassing behaviours include: behaviours, comments or actions which are unwelcome, that are based on a prohibited ground of discrimination and result in a negative or poisoned work environment. This includes practices, policies or systems that have a direct or adverse impact on someone based on a protected ground.-free environment, including sexual harassmentSexual harassment includes comments or conduct such as: unwelcome advances, requests, comments, physical contact such as unnecessary touching, pinching or jostling or gestures that are suggestive, or persistent staring that are of a sexual nature. It may include implied or expressed threats of reprisal for refusal to comply with a request of a sexual nature or implied or expressed promises of reward for agreeing to comply with a request of a sexual nature. It can include: Unwelcome remarks, jokes, taunts, suggestions or speculations about a person’s body, attire, sex life, displays of pornographic or other sexual materials in the form of pictures, electronic mail, graffiti, cartoons or sayings. .
  • Be thoughtful and consider how your words, actions and gestures might be received.
  • Value perspectives, talents and experiences of our diverse workforce“All the ways in which we differ.” A workforce composed of individuals with unique dimensions of diversity including colour, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, work style, communication style, learning preferences and many others. as they enrich our work environment.
  • Be flexible, patient and constructive in your approach to challenging people or situations.

Setting an example:

  • I assume the best in colleagues and citizens.
  • If someone is new or unfamiliar with a task, I help them.
  • I help everyone in the group feel welcome and included.
  • I listen to customers, partners, colleagues and other stakeholders to understand their valuable knowledge and ideas.
  • I am aware of my own biases and perceptions when I interact with people from diverse backgrounds, as well as the triggers that make me uncomfortable.

Be an ambassador:

  • Show respect in interactions with agencies and other partners.
  • Always strive to listen, respect and act.
  • Be curious and open-minded.

Setting an example:

  • I am kind. If I’m in the park and see someone trip, I ask them if they would like help.
  • If I am driving a City vehicle and notice kids watching, I wave at them.
  • If a customer appears upset, I take the time to listen to his/her point of view.

Assume responsibility:

  • Address conflicts in a positive and productive way.
  • Speak up when you see disrespectful behaviourIncludes conduct, comments, actions or gestures which are humiliating, offensive, hurtful or belittling, hostile or unwanted; that affect an employee’s dignity, well-being or physical integrity; or result in a harmful or poisoned work environment. This can include either repeated behaviour that becomes harassment or a single incident of sufficient seriousness..
  • Support colleagues who are dealing with challenges.
  • Check for mutual understanding.
  • Make decisions that promote a respectful and inclusive workplaceA positive work environment that welcomes, supports, respects and values individuals for their differences, perspectives, talents and contributions..

Setting an example:

  • If I make a mistake, I apologize.
  • If I have accidentally hurt someone’s feelings, sense of self or sense of security, I apologize.
  • I refuse to be a bullyA conscious, willful, deliberate and repeated activity marked by an imbalance of power, intent to harm and/or threat of aggression. Bullying can be verbal (name-calling, put-downs, threats), social (exclusion, gossip, ganging up), physical (hitting, damaging property) or cyberbullying (using technology to harass or threaten). Bullying can occur within a peer group or between groups. It can occur at work and outside of work. .
  • I refuse to stand by when someone else is being poorly treated. I speak up.
  • I refuse to be drawn in to inappropriate actions or behaviours.
  • I do not use profane, vulgar or abusive language, either in person, electronically or on social media.
  • I include all members of my team in relevant activities and decision-making.

employees smiling

Behaviours to avoid: I will not…

  • Harm another person’s dignity or sense of well-being.
  • Touch someone if it is unwelcome or uninvited.
  • Gossip and/or discredit a co-worker by sharing information that is not true or not mine to share.
  • Post or send intimidating messages to or about a colleague.
  • Make comments that ridicule or berate others.
  • Intimidate someone using my physical presence, authority or information.
  • Communicate anything that is offensive on a racial, ethnic, gender or religious level, or that relates to any of the other protected groundsThe Alberta Human Rights Act provides protection from discrimination or harassments on the following grounds: age, ancestry, colour, family status, marital status, mental or physical disability, place of origin, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation (including homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual), source of income or gender (including pregnancy, sexual harassment or transgender). .
  • Undermine someone’s performance or contribution.
  • Circulate, demonstrate or communicate sexually suggestive jokes, advances, discussions or content.
  • Make jokes that are hurtful, humiliating, demeaning, belittling or offensive.

I always have choices.
Which one feels right to me?

A co-worker sends me an email that includes an offensive joke and language. What should I do?

I forward this onto a friend to show them that our colleague can be a jerk.

I delete the email and don’t mention it to anyone. I don’t like what was sent but I don’t want to get my co-worker in trouble. We’re friends.

I delete the email and tell the sender not to forward any more information like this.

If the behaviour continues or escalates
I speak with my leader if I believe the information is disrespectful, discriminatory or violent in nature.

Say something

If you don’t say something, either to the person sending you the email, your leader or to your HR Business Partner, how will this kind of activity and mindset stop? Taking the time to address the situation in a calm and rational way can help us build and maintain a respectful workplace – one where we all feel included and accepted.

More examples

Respectful workplace example #1

Dear Code of Conduct,

One of my colleagues is looking for a more personal relationship than I want. How do I handle this respectfully so I’m still able to work with this person? What should I do?

– Just Friends

Dear Just Friends,

A colleague asking you on a date or to attend a social event would not be a Code of Conduct issue. If you aren’t interested in your colleague you need to let him or her know discreetly. In turn, your colleague is expected to respect your decision and maintain a healthy professional relationship with you after that conversation. If this is not the case, then these actions could become a Code of Conduct, Respect in the Workplace issue in the future.

Respectful workplace example #2

Dear Code of Conduct,

My co-workers have been treating a team member badly. This person was away sick for an extended period and since he returned to work he has been excluded from conversations and even some meetings. It is affecting morale and team spirit. What should I do?

– Feeling Sick About This

Dear Feeling Sick,

This sounds like a difficult situation for the employee who has been away. Many employees who have been off work due to illness will feel uneasy upon return. It can be a challenge for the team as well when a member is absent for a period of time. Staffing and role changes can put stresses on some teams.

I encourage you to talk to your supervisor, or your HR Business Partner, about what supports are available to help your team through these periods. Every employee is a valued member of The City team and the best way to restore morale and team spirit is to welcome this person back with offers of support. Health issues could happen to any one of us.

Respectful workplace example #3

Dear Code of Conduct,

I am Facebook friends with a colleague who often posts profane language and racy pictures on their page. It makes me uncomfortable because they list their employer as The City of Calgary. What should I do?

– Facebook Friend or Foe

Dear Facebook Friend,

Any staff member who publicly identifies as a City of Calgary employee must abide by the Code of Conduct in all public statements or comments. All City employees are ambassadors for The Corporation.

When making public statements about a personal opinion, either online or in person, employees should ensure they are not directly representing, or appear to be representing, The City.

A good first step is to talk to your friend. Let him or her know that their comments may reflect poorly both on them and on The City’s reputation.

Learn more

Policies

Respect in Our Workplace is supported by the following policies.

Resources

Resources supporting Respect in Our Workplace can be found in the resource section.

If you are unsure:
ask questions and seek guidance

Your leader is there to provide clarity on expectations in the workplace and to support you.

If you are not comfortable speaking to your leader, you can speak with their leader. The Corporate Organizational Chart can help you identify who this is.

The HR Business Partner in your business unit can answer some of your questions or help you find someone who can. If you need to find contact information for your HR Business Partner call: 403-268-5800



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