the golden Rule in
what a difference there would be if we
all practised it.
and second for what they contribute as a team player. So
how do we close the gap and bring everyone together on
the same page? I’d advise some heavy doses of empathy,
patience, and respect from management all the way down
to the most junior person.
We all have the need to be accepted, understood and respected as equals among our co-workers. I’m a frontline corporate chaplain working within the multifaceted and multicultural pluralistic
workplace. And that need is the common thread in every
workplace tapestry I’ve seen.
Every employee is peculiar – perhaps in certain mannerisms, even weird at times. So it takes an honest, humble, and mature disposition to look
beyond the veneer of cultural divergence and ethnicity to recognize the
core competencies of our co-workers.
Scripture admonishes us in many
places to “love your neighbour as
yourself.” Even unreligious people
recognize the Golden Rule of “Do
unto others as you would have them
do unto you,” for example with secular proverbs such as “What goes
around comes around.” In the workplace I often call this practising “
common courtesy” toward your fellow
Courtesy is needed because where
there are people, naturally there are
problems. We live in a fallen world.But if the Golden Rule
were understood and applied from a personal, individual
level, it would drastically curtail interpersonal strife and
misunderstandings on the shop floor and beyond.
A workplace is only as successful as its employees. You
can have the best products and the best delivery systems,
but still fail without a motivated and co-operative work-force.
Any successful workplace also needs a clear vision or
mission statement that reflects its reason to exist. Guiding
principles help knit every employee into the tapestry and
help keep moral and ethical integrity. But sadly within
many workplaces there’s a chasm between management
and employees, and as a result the local workplace tapestry – the “corporate culture” – is suffering.
My experience has taught me people genuinely want
to be appreciated for who they are first as individuals
some key areas to focus on include:
Intentional Listening – For the most part people working in a busy workplace can’t fathom the notion of having to slow down. It seems antiproductive. But being
intentional in your interpersonal listening skills brings
major improvements. You’d be surprised at how rampant
miscommunication is within the workplace. It certainly
contributes to having to redo tasks and therefore robs
productivity time, causes frustration and depletes morale.
So take the time to be intentional with your listening and
watch productivity and morale soar.
Intentional Communication – Instructions are often misconstrued and
therefore contribute to errors, again
leading to lost productivity, frustration and morale. All of us, especially
those in management roles, can work
at being more clear and concise in our
communication. Keep it simple, silly
Intentional Respect – Why can’t
people just get along? Why are there
hidden tensions and buried animosity between the workplace cubicles?
Amazing how things could change for
the better if only people could drop
the façades, squish the prejudices, be
themselves and appreciate the differences in others. It
doesn’t mean everyone has to be your best friend, but
it will be surprising how others will reciprocate. Just “a
little respect,” as Aretha Franklin – a gospel singer who
found success in the mainstream marketplace – sang so
You’d be surprised at
within the workplace.
It certainly contributes
to having to redo tasks
and therefore robs
causes frustration and
MARCO BIAnCO is the ontario regional director for
Corporate Chaplains Canada ( www.chaplains.ca), which
has provided personal employee care for businesses
in Alberta, B.C. and ontario since 2004. Link to him at