BE4ALL Toolbox Talk #3: Aaron Hilger Talks About the Need for a Respectful Workplace

SMACNA’s CEO details how building a workplace where all feel valued and enabled to contribute in an environment where they can collaborate with their peers to further the industry.

Throughout my time in the industry, I've seen (and heard) everything regarding the workplace environment. And while there might be certain perceptions from the past about what a "good work environment" might look like, a lot of those perceptions may be dated and might even be responsible for contributing towards a toxic environment that could risk your ability to not only attract the top talent but retain the skilled workers that you already have. We need to reflect on what a respectful workplace looks like.

What would be the core tenets of a respectful workplace? For me, such an environment would be one where people are kind and professional towards one another, one that values diversity, one where teammates trust each other, and where bullying and harassment are not tolerated.

There are some tangible benefits to your business for creating this type of atmosphere: higher employee satisfaction, your workforce is engaged with your firm's mission, morale remains high, and harmful activities such as safety incidents, sick time, and turnover significantly reduced. All these things can contribute to your company's higher bottom line and prosperity.

BE4ALL, the joint effort by SMACNA, SMART, and iTI to create an industry-wide atmosphere of belonging, has     designed its latest Toolbox Talk on this topic. Please take a moment on your shop floor to review and discuss the issues outlined in this edition. It will help you understand some behaviors that do not contribute to a respectful workplace and learn more about some of the best practices that can enable you to build a thriving workplace where everyone is valued and welcomed. This can also spur discussion on what can be done at your shop to encourage this environment.

So, please take a moment to learn more about this Toolbox Talk, and thank you for everything you do in building a thriving sheet metal industry.