You’ve no doubt heard the term ‘WTF’ – ‘What The Fudge’ – but have you heard about ‘RTF’? Well ‘RTF’ stops ‘WTF’ moments in its tracks. My attempt at click-bait to get your attention aside, ‘RTF’ or Respect, Trust and Fairness done well in your workplace will stop your staff shaking their heads thinking what a load of bull in response to you trying to lead and manage them.
An example could be a business owner caught complaining about an employee and then using their authority to make that employee feel bad because they got caught. Or an under-performing employee, who happens to get along well with the boss, makes the threat to leave unless they get a pay rise. The boss agrees to the pay rise, leaving the other employees shaking their heads saying ‘WTF’.
These examples cause a ‘WTF’ response because they lack the three most important values in any workplace in any country – Respect, Trust and Fairness.
It happens on both sides – I have had many ‘WTF’ experiences in response to the actions and behavior of both managers and employees.
Recently, it happened when an older employee point blank refused to give a younger employee some information that would have helped them to do their job more effectively. When I asked the older employee what stopped them from passing on their wisdom to others, he told me that if he gave out what he knew that he wouldn’t be as valuable to the business and would eventually lose his job.
He was demonstrating a complete lack of respect to his workmate and to the business employing him. He cultivated an environment of mistrust by his own beliefs and he was certainly not being fair to the other employee who needed the information to do his job well.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE WTF MOMENTS?
You will experience a massive decrease in people thinking that the actions and decisions in your workplace are unfair, when you ensure Respect, Trust and Fairness in the way you work and in your expectations on how your staff work for you.
And this matters because if left unfixed, ‘WTF’ moments cause employees to disengage from their work, which means you won’t be getting the best from them.
HOW TO BRING MORE RESPECT, TRUST AND FAIRNESS INTO YOUR WORKPLACE:
- Open a discussion with your employees about Respect, Trust and Fairness and look for examples of when it happens and when it doesn’t. Ask questions like: when do you / we feel respected and when don’t we? Are there times that trust is broken, what are some examples? How can we be more fair?
- Pull out the key themes from your discussions and reset your expectations based on the way everyone will act or not act to ensure there will be Respect, Trust and Fairness when you together.
- Give your employee advice on how they can practically act with Respect, Trust and Fairness. For example, use the stories you gathered at point 1 and rework them to show employee how they can change their actions and behaviors towards the outcomes you want.
- Thank and acknowledge those that act with Respect, Trust and Fairness and make sure you pull up those who don’t. Nothing kills Respect, Trust and Fairness and causes ‘WTF’ moments like a manager that refuses to stamp out poor and under-performing behaviors.
- If you get stuck, let me know and I’ll help you through. Often it takes an outsider to get employees talking openly and I can help create the right actions step for your business.
So before you go looking for all the other things that can be causing problems in your workplace, I’d suggest you start by ensuring the Respect, Trust and Fairness is alive and well in your business. I’d even go as far as to say that Respect, Trust and Fairness is the only foundation on which thriving businesses are made.