The Spartacus Group (TSG)
Building the People to Profit Chain

Behavioral Standards


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Once employees understand the important of creating respectful, inclusive workplaces the next step is to define what the 'minimal behavioral standards' are for all employees; specifically identifying those for employees and managers.  The process includes providing the employees with a chance to develop the actual standards of expectation and then have the management and/or leadership team finalize the standards.  Every organization and/or team needs to develop their own guidelines.  No two organizations are the same as there is no cookie-cutter approach to the specific observable behaviors that should be incorporated into a 'minimal behavioral standards' agreement.

An example of the process linked to developing the standards would be illustrated in the example listed below.  This organization decided the key areas of emphasis in the behavioral standards involved the way people treated each other in the following areas:
  1. Meetings
  2. Communicating with Each Other
  3. Professional Conduct
  4. Demonstrating Commitment to Coworkers

The employees developed what the observable behaviors were linked to each of these areas of expectations.  Specifically they defined how to demonstrate respectful, inclusive behaviors in the following three areas:

  1. Peer to Peer
  2. Manager to Employee
  3. Employee


ENFORCEABILITY


The first key to enforcing these standards is having the employees, managers and leaders develop the specific behaviors themselves.  Once they talk through what is realistic and why these goals are important, it greatly increases the ability to develop a ‘social contract’ to adhere to these standards.  Here are examples of specific behaviors that would constitute a 'behavioral standards' agreement clearly outlining what behaviors are acceptable, respectable and desired in order to maintain an environment where employees feel valued.  These were specific behaviors that the employees committed to exhibit in the workplace.

  
    
WHEN COMMUNICATING IN THE OFFICE
How Do You "Visibly" Demonstrate Respect

Peer-to-Peer
  • Eye Contact
  • Allow People to Finish Sentences
  • Respect Peoples Time
  • Use Adult Conversations
  • Recognize Differences in Communications Styles
  • Be Willing to Compromise

Manager to Employee

  • Give People Your Undivided Attention
  • Respect Why Things Are Late
  • Clearly Communicate Expectations
  • Listen More
  • Understand Managers Have Different Goals
  • Respond to eMails
  • Provide Updates and Direction

Employee to Manager

  • Understand they have other bosses too
  • Communicate when stuff goes wrong
  • Acknowledge responsibility and help out
  •  Convey the urgency of your communication
  • Don't be afraid to say, “No – I have enough on my plate.”
  • Acknowledge that manager is busy and be sensitive to fact that request should be valid.
DEMONSTRATING RESPECT IN MEETINGS
How Do You Visibly Show Respect?

Peer-to-Peer
  • Establish & Stick to agendas and actions
  • Don't schedule meetings just to have meetings
  • Come prepared
  • Active listening
  • Pay attention
  • Eliminate multi-tasking with devices

Manager to Employee

  • Respect what employees have to say
  • Have your employees back
  • Solicit responses from your employees
  • Keep your employees on task in the meeting to avoid distractions.
  • Need a weekly update meeting
  • Trust that people will do what is asked.

Employee to Manager

  • Respect the schedule and/or agenda
  • Respect the reputation of the managers
  • Understand that there are topics planned for the meeting and follow that flow.
  • Don’t utilize the meeting as a way to drive a personal agenda
  • Give your manager the benefit of the doubt in meetings that they have a reason for asking certain questions.
COMMITMENT TO COWORKERS
How Do You Show Commitment Respectfully?

Peer-To-Peer
  • Help your coworkers get credit
  • Work together give opinions / assistance
  • Be there to help and step-up if needed
  • Hold each other accountable for tasks.
  • Provide constructive criticism, honest feedback. Share knowledge
  • No gossip / rumors

Manager to Employee

  • Acknowledge and aid requests from other groups and teams
  • Have each others back
  • Give as much detail as possible
  • Have an honest open door policy
  • Give opportunities & credit
  • Encouragement
  • Recognition of contribution

Employee to Manager

  • Understand the restraints on the manager
  • Communicate
  • Meet managers clear expectations
  • Update and inform
  • Understand the managers priorities, scope and method of operation