At the end of each year, BIREME traditionally celebrates its main results and its Director and employees gather in a joyful and relaxed environment. In the 2016 celebration event, all attendants could join the Season of Appreciation initiative, which is part of PAHO Respectful Workplace policy that recognizes “being thankful as an important component in a healthy work environment. When people feel appreciated in their workplace they become more confident and feel more motivated. This has a positive impact in the wellbeing of each individual and, consequently, in the whole of the Organization”.
This initiative fosters and promotes a healthy, respectful, inclusive, fair, and collaborative environment that values diversity. Its implementation is very important for the Organization, since it is consistent with the Human Resources Report Strategy – a strategy for personnel, developed by the PAHO for the period 2015-2019.
The initiative also establishes that a respectful workplace is an environment that promotes courtesy, collaborative work relations, and open communication, and which values diversity in such a way people feel they are treated with dignity, respect, and equality. It therefore creates a space in which people like to work with each other and feel comfortable in their work environment.
According to Dolores Gomez-Moran, the Organization Ombudsman, “a respectful work environment fosters trust, responsibility, accountability, mutual respect and open communication and embraces people’s dignity and diversity. In a respectful work environment, people feel included and appreciated for their contributions, since respect is nothing more than recognizing, accepting, appreciating, and valuing the others’ qualities and rights. In other words, respect is recognizing your own worth and the rights of everyone. An organization requires people to respect one another, which implies that a respectful work environment also includes obligations. Supporting a respectful work environment means to be committed to interests that are not strictly individual or common, because they are related to the collective wellbeing of all members in the Organization.”
BIREME employees wrote thank you notes to colleagues for something they have done to support them. These notes were posted on a board, in a place accessible to everyone. On December 16th, during the celebration of 2016 BIREME Results, the notes were shared and BIREME Director, Dr Diego González Machín, read some of them, inspiring everyone. He also mentioned that “all actions meant to generate a healthy space in BIREME will be welcome. Once again, we managed to prove by means of these notes that we develop inter-programmatic team work, and establish it over a basis of respect and communication. This is the corporate spirit that thrives in BIREME.”