Has your workplace culture ever encountered some unwanted turbulence? It happens to all of us, but we can avoid much of it by planning ahead and paying attention to the forces that cause it. In order to make it to our desired destination cruising straight and level, the four forces of flight must be in balance.
As a passenger, straight and level flight is smooth and easy, but the truth is, the pilot, or in some cases, the autopilot, is making constant inputs or adjustments to maintain the ability for people to be about their business and arrive at the agreed upon destination.
Workplace culture has some correlation to flight. That’s why I’ve come up with four forces that balance workplace culture. The four forces are respect, resources, reasons, and realignment. When all of these things are aligned, your workplace culture will flourish.
Let’s start with respect.
Respect is defined as due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of others. That may mean co-workers, leaders, or customers. Respect also extends to the policies or processes at a company.
It comes across as listening to others’ points of view and explaining our perspective in a non-confrontational manner. It looks like awareness of the toll our requests will make on another person or department’s time or resources.
Respect as an employee can mean taking the extra time to identify a potential solution or two instead of going to your boss with problems. As a manager, your employees are better equipped to adhere to company policies when the expectations about their performance are clear.
My mentor once told me that if we treat our employees like they are volunteers, they feel valued and appreciated. However, he did not say to pay them like volunteers! One of the ways to show respect is compensating workers well for their value to the company—with both wages and benefits.
When there’s a lack of respect in an organization, we’re on our way to quick escalation or deterioration. In flight, if something disrupts the flow of air over the wing—ice, a bird, a gust of wind or heat convections, we must immediately take action to keep the plane in the air—or get it safely to the ground. We cannot always eliminate turbulence, but we can make adjustments. The same is true in our businesses.
Respect generally shows up in verbal and non-verbal communication across teams, leadership, policies, priorities and processes. An abundance of respect creates a strong culture—and its disregard, well, it’s disruptive at best.
Want to learn more? Watch the full Aviation Workplace Culture Training for tips on how you can actively work to increase the respect you receive and give others and ultimately impact the culture at your organization through the four forces of workplace culture.
How do you intentionally respect your co-workers or employees? Let us know in the comments!