By Bill Huseby
Respect for Each Other is one of SIGMADESIGN’s six core values that influences how employees behave at work. When a workplace culture makes employees feel appreciated and well-respected, they are more likely to do their best at work. To ensure that our employees are reaching their potential, we’ve instituted some ideas to help maintain our respectful workplace: leading by example; clear codes of conduct, including feedback; and opportunities to excel.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
When you treat people with courtesy, politeness and kindness, it’s likely to catch on and be reciprocated. Leading by example also includes being sincere; it should be a top priority in order to promote genuine respect. Showing you truly respect a person happens with both verbal and nonverbal communication. At SIGMADESIGN, the leaders created an environment where it is encouraged to show respect for others with the guidelines that are practiced in our day to day business. For example, an employee’s time and expertise are respected by allowing flexible working hours and showing we trust them to do a good job. Their contributions are respected by how they are compensated and given recognition by managers.
Additionally, we developed informal forms of recognition to encourage respect throughout the company. For instance, at our Monday Morning Meetings, employees may recognize co-workers for their contributions that go beyond their daily job requirements. These are just some of the ways we lead by example and foster respect for each other at SIGMADESIGN.
CLEAR RULES OF CONDUCT
SIGMADESIGN invests a lot in elevating the processes that ensure a good work environment. This began in 2006 with team leaders planning, creating and instituting the company’s core values. These values guide the conduct of employees and lay the foundation for the way we work every day. At any place in any SIGMADESIGN facility, you can see the core values prominently posted. The core values are intentionally visible everywhere as a reminder to all about why we are here.
Additionally, clear codes of conduct have been developed and implemented in the hiring process, on-boarding and employee handbook to ensure that members of the team understand that good conduct and respect for each other is expected of every team member.
“It is the belief of SIGMADESIGN that employees and management work best as a team. As such, it is important that everyone connected with SIGMADESIGN be willing to pull together and do the job at hand at the time it needs to be done, regardless of the nature of the job.”
~Company Handbook, Employment Relations and Conduct Section
This illustrates our emphasis on a team environment and the respectful nature inherent in our team. As noted by our Director of Human Resources, Rachelle Hutchens, “You have to have Respect Each for Other to make an HR team work well. For instance, respecting each other means doing your best to find out what the root cause of a performance issue is rather than making assumptions.” Giving people the appropriate feedback as required is important. Constructive criticism shows that you respect a person, even though it may be something they don’t want to hear. The intent is to help a person improve.
Hutchens says, “I’ve also driven into my team the importance of speedy responses. Even if they don’t have the answer right away, the expectation is that some sort of response is given within 24 hours.” Letting a person know that they’ve been heard is important. Timely well-intended feedback shows respect for others. (Read more about Rachelle Hutchens in her employee spotlight).
OPPORTUNITIES TO EXCEL
As the CEO & President of SIGMADESIGN, I have my hands in a lot of the business. I’ve learned that the company will only get better and bigger if I trust others to do what they are best at. That’s why we’ve invested time in providing opportunities for employees to excel. Our mantra is “Grow by Hiring, Developing and Recognizing the BEST”.
One of the Strategic Initiatives for 2019 is to advance the investment we make in our employees. Individuals are spearheading training for a variety of programs that enhance the professional development of employees in every department, which ultimately benefits both our employees AND our clients. By investing in employees and demonstrating you trust them to do a good job, you are setting up an environment that breeds respect for each other.
There are many ways to show and encourage “Respect for Each Other” in the workplace. I’ve highlighted several that are proving to be a great investment for the company. Many employees mention how they’ve never worked in a place with such a great environment. My goal is to maintain the culture we’ve created, which ultimately effects our overall productivity. Respect for each other is something to embrace whether it’s inside or outside of the workplace.
Always praise more than you criticize and encourage employees to give praise to others where needed; this will go a long way in building a respectful culture.