Incivility in the Workplace

I recently re-read an article that I wrote in 2010 that was published in the Nonprofit Advantage. The title of the article was Power of Non-Profits by Analyzing the Organization’s Culture. It was interesting to see that things have not changed much from 2010, especially where it concerns the issues of “attracting and retaining employees by providing a positive, healthy, and thriving workplace”. Organizations today, eight years later, have very similar issues when it comes to maintaining a positive workplace and encouraging employees to be productive, although today it is known as incivility.

In today’s business world, there appears to be a culture of incivility in the workplace that causes employees to leave the company, act out, or stay and be miserable, thus affecting the notion of a positive work environment. Incivility is defined as rudeness to another and being discourteous to fellow workers. Whether it is disrupting others from doing their jobs, failing to greet or acknowledge another person, or taking the last cup of coffee and not refilling the pot, incivility has become rampant in the workplace.

The workplace implications of incivility cause physical and mental health issues, performance on the job to decrease, and a significant cost to your organization in the long term. There is a decrease in the quality and quantity of work being done. A recent statistic shows that 78% of workers affected by incivility on the job have basically stopped being productive.

To create a positive, civil work environment that is free from incivility and harassment, there are some basic fundamentals to practice to bring your workplace back to a positive and civil environment. Reminding your employees to practice these five fundamentals of civility will create a better, more productive workplace for all.

  • Smile – smiling is infectious and makes you feel better. Smiling stimulates your brain, lifts your mood, and boosts your immune system.
  • Build Relationships – Employees need to feel they belong. Acknowledge people when passing them, plan an outing with colleagues, welcome new employees and fill the empty coffee pot.
  • Listen – Listening signals caring, commitment and connection. By listening, you just might learn something that is valuable. Make eye contact when listening (and talking).
  • Judge Not! – Don’t judge other people. Accept those around you for who they are. Practice inclusion of all employees by including them in conversations, lunches and decisions. Think about those unconscious biases that we all show to others and be aware of them when interacting.
  • Saying Please and Thank You – A simple “Please and Thank You” shows that you care about what someone has accomplished. Shows respect for another. Provides an appreciation for another’s success, and is a cheap way to make someone feel good about what they have done.

The bottom line is that we all should practice being civil to one another by smiling, building relationships, listening, not judging and saying please and thank you. Practicing civility can lead to a positive work environment that encourages productivity, communication and inclusion. These simple acts can also make you an employer of choice that helps with “attracting and retaining” employees.

By |2018-07-26T08:09:57+00:00July 26th, 2018|Small Bites|0 Comments
Carol Kardas

With 25+ years of generalist HR experience, Carol’s focus includes compensation, training, and employee relations. She has advanced HR certifications: SPHR, CCP, SHRM-SCP.

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