Building a foundation of respect - Part 16 | BuildForce Canada

Building a foundation of respect - Part 16

Welcome to the BuildForce blog on Respectful Workplaces! Here we explore issues and provide advice, research, tools, and checklists – everything our industry needs to create respectful and inclusive workplaces where everyone can succeed. Who will benefit? Leaders, managers, HR staff, and anyone who wants to understand how to create and support a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace. To meet the challenges of the 21st century, the Canadian construction and maintenance industry must be able to recruit and retain workers with a diversity of backgrounds such as Indigenous people, women, immigrants, and young workers. This means building respectful, safe and inclusive workplaces where all workers can succeed. Some of these challenges are: A quarter of a million skilled workers retiring over the next decade. Increased globalization demands more awareness of different cultures. The changing needs of a changing workforce. Increased demands for corporate social responsibility such as fairness and equity.

What can an effective Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Program deliver? The BuildForce Canada Respectful Workplace Online Self-Assessment Tool ~ Release date - late 2018 ~ The Respectful Workplace Self-Assessment Tool allows organization leadership to assess their progress toward a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace and benchmark their progress confidentially against other construction organizations.Each month we will feature an  "Assessment question of the month."  So make sure to be a regular visitor! Watch for the release of the BuildForce Canada Online Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Toolkit, including The Respectful Workplace Online Self-Assessment Tool: to assist organization leadership in assessing their current situation and identifying where they may need to make changes; The Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Online Training Course: to train workers on how to create and support a respectful and inclusive workplace; and The Respectful Workplace Policy Framework and Implementation Guide: to assist organizations in creating and implementing a policy that supports a respectful and inclusive workplace.


Does your organization commit the resources necessary for effective implementation of your respectful and inclusive workplace initiative?

A major study in the United States that surveyed a large sample of private-sector organizations found that allocating resources to "responsibility structures," for example, diversity (respectful and inclusive workplace) plans (see Blog #13), committees, and staff positions, is associated with significantly higher representation of people with different genders, backgrounds, and circumstances in management.

Although the organizations in this study were medium- to large-sized, smaller organizations with fewer resources can still implement these success factors:

  • Staff positions responsible for respectful and inclusive workplace initiatives can be assigned as partial roles combined with other human resources or personnel administration responsibilities.
  • Committees to support respectful and inclusive workplace initiatives can be made up of champions that already exist in your organization. Their effectiveness can be maximized by rewarding their work through recognition or special training.

World Environment Day - June 5, 2018 - Take action to #BeatPlasticPollution - World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 resulting from discussions on the integration of human interactions and the environment. Two years later, in 1974, the first World Environment Day was held with the theme "Only One Earth." --- Organizations that demonstrate a commitment to the environment may find it easier to attract and engage younger generations. --- The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017 found that Millennials (born 1982-1999) tend to feel a relatively high sense of accountability about the "big issues" like protecting the environment and fighting social inequality.

OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT: Tying pay to performance is important for the success of a respectful and inclusive workplace initiative.

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENT: Measuring the effectiveness of a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Plan or set of objectives

Read from the beginning. Click here to start at Part 1.


  • BuildForce Canada. Online Respectful & Inclusive WorkplaceToolkit. Release Date: late 2018.
  • Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. Diversity Perspectives: Diversity Staffing Structures. July 10, 2013.
  • Deloitte. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017. Pages 15-16. See Accessed April 26, 2018.
  • Kalev, Alexandra, Frank Dobbin and Erin Kelly. Best Practices or Best Guesses? Assessing the Efficacy of Corporate Affirmative Action and Diversity Policies. American Sociological Review. 2006. Vol. 71 (August: 589-617).
  • United Nations. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. See Accessed on April 26, 2018.

Join the conversation: Do you think your organization should commit more resources to creating a respectful and inclusive workplace culture?

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This project has been funded by Status of Women Canada.