Subject: How Important is Respect to You?
A key reason we value our jobs so much is we have such an important mission of ensuring that air travelers move safely and efficiently through our national airspace. When we also feel appreciated, trusted and respected among our co-workers, we look forward to coming to work every day.
That’s why our labor partners are joining the FAA in the RESPECT initiative, which promotes a respectful and collaborative work environment. When we treat one another with mutual dignity, support and respect, our operation improves too because we can focus on what’s important. Without respect, we might feel like we can’t count on other people, and that’s not a conducive atmosphere.
As Paul Rinaldi, the president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), said when we were talking about this recently, it’s OK to have differences, but when we have personal or professional challenges, we have to strive to be considerate to one another and work it out professionally.
Key elements of RESPECT are taking responsibility, setting an example, putting safety first, demonstrating professionalism in the workplace, showing empathy to others, communicating openly to resolve conflicts, and of course, respecting one another despite differences or disagreements.
Over the last year, we tested RESPECT at three of our facilities across the NAS, and we received great feedback about the initiative promoting a positive culture, forging stronger bonds and creating a more enjoyable working environment.
Now we’re ready to roll it out across the NAS and we hope it will stimulate good conversation in your facility or office and become a good resource. NATCA talked about RESPECT this week at its convention in Philadelphia, and you can watch this video (insert link) of my conversation with Paul. We will also be talking about this at next week’s air traffic managers’ conference and at the Professional Women Controllers meeting later this month.
I hope you will do your part with your co-workers, whether you acknowledge someone for a job well done or you simply enter the workplace with a cheerful greeting or an encouraging tone. It matters to us, and it matters to the operation. So let’s choose respect!