What New Facebook Can Teach Us About Respect in the Workplace

By | 2017-01-13T13:42:16+00:00 September 22nd, 2011|Categories: Respectful Workplace|Tags: |Comments Off on What New Facebook Can Teach Us About Respect in the Workplace

Like most people, I woke up yesterday morning and was greeted by a somewhat new interface on my Facebook page. The changes were minor but enough to disrupt my usual routine. It was apparent that what I was looking for was much more difficult to find and everything else seemed to be overly complicated.

I wasn’t the only one having difficulty adjusting to these changes. I checked  my news feed and saw post after post of people complaining about the new look of their home page and how much they hated it. On the flip side, I also saw a lot of comments about how those people complaining just didn’t like change.

Now I am person who embraces change, and while I don’t mean to speak for everyone else who hates the updates, I am not sure that was a valid response to those who were expressing disgust.

The entire situation made me think about respect in the workplace and how most organizations try to achieve this.  I t goes something like this:

“We are trying to be proactive (or most likely reactive) so we need to establish a respectful workplace policy. To do this we are going to have HR write up a list of items that people need to do to be more respectful. We are going to distribute this to employees and force them to comply.”

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very respectful or even something that is effectively going to create a more respectful work environment.


Because change is best when it’s not forced upon us. People support what they help create. That’s why when we, here at Legacy Business Cultures, work with organizations the last step is to create a working document, with input from the entire team on how they will treat others with respect.

This process is successful, because unlike the above example, employees have a say in what respectful behaviors the entire group will support and what the expectations will be. This is why there was such an uproar over the new Facebook. Even though it is a voluntary and free service, people had no say in the change. It was forced upon them and that’s why so many people were outraged, not that they don’t like change.

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About the Author:

Melanie Sklarz
Melanie Sklarz was the the web content and social media coordinator as well as the lead blog writer for the RespectfulWorkplace.com website. She has a MA in Women’s Studies from the Ohio State University. For more information, visit melaniesklarz.com.