Promote Respect in the Workplace

Respect in the Workplace

Respectful behaviour displays personal integrity and professionalism, practices fairness and understanding, demonstrates respect for individual rights and differences and encourages accountability for one's actions. Respectful workplaces don't just happen, they are built.

We all have the right to work in an environment that is respectful and a responsibility to treat everyone at work with consideration. A respectful workplace

  • Is inclusive
  • Values diversity
  • Clearly communicates expectations around behaviour
  • Promotes employee health and safety
  • Provides resources and training to resolve disputes
  • Strives for improvement
  • Has open channels of communication

Supporting the Corporate Plan, Where Ideas Work (PDF, 2.6MB), the BC Public Service

  • Embraces open communication, collaboration, flexibility and choice
  • Supports your development and career goals
  • Recognizes that your safety, health and work-life balance directly impacts your professional success and productivity

Advantages of a Respectful Workplace

Respectful workplaces are productive, rewarding, and enjoyable for everyone. They are environments where employees work well together and recognize that

  • Behaviours and attitudes affect others
  • Building upon individual strengths and abilities fosters a positive workforce
  • Each individual is unique and has the right to be treated with respect and dignity

Respectful workplaces don't just happen, they are built

Respectful behaviour displays personal integrity and professionalism, practices fairness and understanding, demonstrates respect for individual rights and differences and is accountable for one's actions. A respectful workplace has these advantages:

  • A welcoming environment
  • Employee engagement
  • Better health and well-being
  • Respectful resolution of issues
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased morale
  • Increased creativity


The responsibility for building and maintaining a respectful workplace is shared by everyone in the BC Public Service. There are policy statements regarding workplace behaviour and conduct which require all employees to behave respectfully, collaboratively and in ways consistent with the BC government's corporate values. These policy statements and collective agreements include

  • Standards of Conduct
  • Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • BCGEU Collective Agreement
    • Article 1.7, Article 1.8, Article 1.9, Article 32.15
    • Memorandum of Understanding 13
  • PEA Collective Agreement
    • Article 1.09, Article 36.13

These policies provide specific standards and responsibilities for everyone and lay out a complaint process for misconduct and harassment. The BC Public Service takes every allegation/complaint very seriously and aims to resolve them quickly.

Learn About Respect in the Workplace

The Learning Centre offers a variety of courses for building and maintaining respect in the workplace. Learn more about respectful workplaces.

Get Available Resources

The BC Public Service Agency provides employees with information, tools and services to help identify, assess, manage, and support respect in the workplace. Get available resources when you need them.

Make the Connection: Respect in the Workplace and Health

Building and maintaining respect in the workplace means understanding disrespectful behaviour or conflict can impact employee health. Be aware of these potential health concerns, as well as the resources available to address them. Learn how to make the connection.

Communicate for Success

Speaking with a person directly is the ideal way to resolve a conflict. Learn how to communicate for success.

Meeting in a Box: Facilitating the Conversation About Respect in the Workplace

Get the tools you need to have an engaging and productive conversation about respectful workplaces.

Inclusive Language in the Workplace

Inclusive language is language that is free from words, phrases or tones that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminatory views of particular people or groups. It is also language that does not deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from feeling accepted. The use of inclusive language plays an important role in promoting respectful workplaces and demonstrates our commitment to public service values.

Words Matter (PDF, 618KB): Guidelines on Using Inclusive Language in the Workplace sets out some key guiding principles and suggestions to assist in using inclusive language.

Support for Transgender Awareness

Resources for managers and employees are available on MyHR. Supporting Transgender and Gender Diverse Employees in the Workplace (PDF, 646KB) is a guide for supervisors and employees that covers topics such as understanding gender identity, engaging in collaborative support, and developing a support and transition plan.

Managers seeking advice about supporting gender diversity in the workplace can contact the Manager Advice Line and ask to speak to clinician with expertise in this area. Employees can arrange short-term counselling and ask to speak to clinician with expertise in this area.