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Respectful Workplace Policy

About the policy

Respectful workplace policy

Our employee promise supports a safe and respectful work environment where each employee is given the same concern, trust, respect and caring attitude that they are expected to share with Calgarians, businesses and visitors.
A respectful workplace benefits you, your co-workers, and our citizens because:

  • Everyone can be more productive
  • Work is more enjoyable
  • Job satisfaction increases
  • We can be proud of our accomplishments

The Respectful Workplace policy informs us of the expectations for behaviours, both as leaders and employees and provides procedures when you believe disrespectful behaviour has occurred. While the policy doesn’t tell you what you can and cannot do specifically, it does suggest some behaviours that are helpful and harmful to our respectful workplace.

Supporting respectful behaviour

  • Be more aware of and acknowledge differences you see.
  • When you are uncomfortable, think about your automatic reaction and your thoughts or feelings before you act.
  • Recognize and value the diversity among workgroups, members, customers and citizens.
  • Listen to what others have to say and be open-minded to others’ ideas, comments and suggestions.

Watching for disrespectful behaviour

  • Behaviours that negatively affects another person’s dignity, well-being or physical integrity.
  • Disrespectful behaviour can be a single incident or repeated occurrences.
  • Behaviours that are not always intended but are unwanted and unwelcome by the other person. This could include: discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation, and deliberately excluding an employee from relevant work activities or decision making.

Policy download

Download the full policy below.

Case studies and scenarios

Click to expand the following case studies and scenarios.

Case study

Take some time with your team or co-workers to discuss this case study and scenarios.

As I am driving a City vehicle while carrying out my job one day, I accidentally back into the fence on a citizen’s yard. I get out of the truck and realize I have knocked down a section of fence and put a small dint in the fender of the truck. The citizen comes out the door and starts yelling at me. I call out ‘sorry’ and drive away.


Q. What is acceptable as a City of Calgary employee? Talk about how the employee should have responded?

  • The citizen has a broken fence and wants a response from the driver. Our driver further angers the citizen by not addressing the problem and driving away.
  • Providing it’s safe to do so, stop and listen to the person’s concerns in a respectful manner
  • Then take reasonable steps to correct the situation, such as reporting the matter to your supervisor.
  • Remember to act with the 4 Cs in mind: Character, Commitment, Competence and Collaboration.
Scenario one

At a staff meeting, Michael sits in his chair with an angry look on his face. When asked if he’d like to contribute his ideas, he replies “no” loudly while shaking his head. When leaving the meeting he slams the door behind him.

Discussion Questions

  1. Is this a respectful workplace issue?
  2. Although Michael’s behaviour wasn’t directed specifically at you, does it affect you?
  3. What if this wasn’t the first time Michael has acted this way?
  4. How does the respectful workplace policy affect or involve you?
Scenario two

Jim, a former City employee, now a contracted employee, is working onsite with some of his former City co-workers. Suzie, a City foreman, is having a discussion with a colleague. During the discussion, Jim approaches Suzie and puts his arm around her, pulling her into him. He says laughingly "Wow hard to believe they made you a foreman, I guess all that flirting paid off for you."

Suzie moves away from Jim and says "Don’t touch me like that!"

Others witness this interaction.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is this disrespectful behaviour or is Jim just joking around?
  2. Based on what you’ve just learned, why is Jim's behavior a concern?
Scenario three

You are part of a project team. One member of your team keeps bringing up a point that you has been discussed and rejected by the team.

You think this person is stubborn because she will not let the point go until everyone agrees with her. You get angry and blurt out, “How many times do we have to go over this #**#! point?”

Discussion Questions:

  1. How should conflict/misunderstanding be dealt with from within a project team?
  2. What should you have done differently in this situation?

Policy learning

A City Specific eCourse is designed to equip you with knowledge that will help you understand your role in creating and maintaining a respectful workplace. It is encouraged for everyone from CMT, Supervisors to employees at all levels as it focuses on core competencies like Values & Ethics. Visit myCity for more details.

Policy resources

  1. Download: Respectful Workplace Policy
  2. Download: Policy tip sheet
  3. Ask your leader to host a 'Let's Talk about Respect!' presentation. If you have City network access, visit myCity/respect for details
  4. The Alberta Human Rights Commission

View the complete Code of Conduct policy library