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Respectful Conversations | Employer Guidance and Podcast

The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) has produced new guidance and an accompanying podcast to encourage respectful conversations in the workplace.

The LRA in its pursuit of improving employment relations in Northern Ireland has published a new guide for employers to help encourage respectful conversations at work.

The breadth of conversations considered appropriate for the workplace has expanded in recent years. Employees are no longer expected to separate work from their personal lives and many employers now recognise the business imperative of providing support to employees dealing with challenging life events such as parental bereavement, domestic abuse, or menopause.

How will the respectful conversations guide help employers?

This guide has been produced to support employers who want to encourage respectful conversations at work, eliminate taboos around certain topics or opinions, and support an open and genuinely inclusive workplace culture in which all employees feel valued and have a genuine sense of belonging.

Key sections of the guide

This guide outlines:

  • what makes a conversation respectful
  • where workplace conversations happen, especially as most workplaces now alternate between the physical office and home working
  • the importance of workplace culture
  • how to champion differences
  • planning for imperfection
  • practical actions to encourage respectful workplace conversations

Download the LRA’s employer guide to encouraging respectful conversations (PDF, 362K).

Respectful conversations podcast

The LRA has also produced a podcast in partnership with Diversity Mark to support employers who want to encourage respectful conversations at work. The podcast helps to bring to life some of the key areas of the new respectful workplace conversations guidance.

Access the LRA’s new respectful conversations podcast.

Other LRA podcasts

The LRA has produced a number of other podcasts, these include:

  • Challenging workplace podcast – themes discussed include societal issues that are now also being recognised as workplace matters such as domestic violence, menoause and gender identity.
  • Domestic violence and abuse podcast – the discussion focuses on the importance of seeing domestic violence and abuse as a workplace issue and how employers can best support any employees who are experiencing it.


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