The Power of Civil Treatment

Northeast Ohio Medical University is on its way to becoming a CT (Civil Treatment) WorkplaceTM, in an effort led by NEOMED’s Offices of Human Resources and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Employment Learning Innovations (ELI), which has been involved in ongoing discussions with NEOMED, has now prepared a Facilitation Team to conduct discussions with NEOMED staff and Rootstown-based faculty.

Andre Burton, director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, knows from experience at Cuyahoga Community College that participating in such facilitated discussions can make an immediate and positive impact.

Burton recalls, “I once had a conversation with a co-worker who was concerned about one of his colleagues who was highly upset and crying. The employee that witnessed the colleague in distress wanted to inform their mutual supervisor about the distraught colleague. Prior to the CT-facilitated discussions, the supervisor was always busy and made it known they did not want to be bothered unless there was an emergency. However, after the CT discussions, the supervisor began encouraging employees to raise concerns and develop specific steps to create a welcoming environment.

“The supervisor found out from the employee who was concerned about his colleague that the colleague was being subjected to consistent abusive and bullying behavior by another coworker. The supervisor used a tool known as the Welcome Model (learned in CT) to encourage his employees to raise concerns about issues that may negatively impact the work environment. Without CT, the situation would not have been addressed. It would have gotten much worse and created a toxic environment.”

Why add another element to the Partnering for Success (PfS) requirements?

Increased employee engagement. Enhanced productivity. Risk management. Increased morale. For all those reasons, Burton supports the inclusion of CT discussions as part of NEOMED’s PFS requirements. He explains, “This initiative is an important complement to the existing diversity and civility competencies, because it will allow our faculty and staff to acquire additional skills to help create a more welcoming, respectful and collegial environment at NEOMED.  All of us will learn how to be active participants in the University’s efforts to achieve its mission, vision and values.’’

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