Developing a Workplace Creed can be a way to enable an organization or department to articulate its goals, mission and values. Here is an example of a Workplace Creed that I created, based upon the feedback from 4 departmental trainings that I facilitated, within a non-profit organization:
Team members strive to create a safe, non-punitive learning environment, where each member feels respected and heard. We always hold the needs of the clients we serve in the highest regard, and understand that this is what unites us as a team. We address conflicts from the paradigm that our colleagues have good intentions, are well trained, and are actively striving to do their best work, at all times.
Team members understand that conflict is a natural occurrence in the workplace, and welcome it as an opportunity for growth, both personally and professionally. We understand that conflicts are comprised of many variables, including the effects of vicarious trauma, along with conflicting perceptions, styles, roles and pressures. Each member will make an effort to take responsibility for their own actions, and to talk to others, solely with the intent of solving the problem. We will seek first to actively listen, and to understand where the other person is coming from, and are open to using all of the tools in our arsenal to address the issue.
Team members encourage, and support one another to speak out, if they have felt wronged, as we are willing to immediately tackle the problem together, as soon as the situation permits. We understand that there are risks and challenges involved in speaking out, and we will try not to take concerns personally, or hold grudges. We value each other’s opinions, along with our own, and will maintain a positive attitude, understanding that some conflicts may be un-resolvable, but there is always an opportunity for repair. If this is the case, we will seek to extend the highest level of cordiality, communication and respect to each other as we are team.
As evidenced in the Workplace Creed, the following values are held in high regard within that non-profit program: healthy conflict management, teamwork, encouragement, opportunities to learn and grow, respect, problem-solving, and unity. As with anything, consistency and practice is key. It is imperative that such creations are displayed in prominent locations throughout the agency, and are consistently repeated and referenced, until the organizational values are ingrained and flow from the top, to the very bottom of the organization.
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