Incivility in the Workplace – The Problem

Research has proven that incivility in the workplace can
have dramatic negative effects on employee engagement,
turnover, productivity, etc.

We define incivility as inconsiderate words and deeds some
of which may seem inconsequential at the time but all of
which typically are contrary to conventional workplace
conduct.

Incivility may include such things as verbal humiliation,
sarcasm, withholding information, talking down to others,
excluding others from meetings, failing to give credit,
etc.

HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: As counterproductive as incivility
can be, the bigger problem many times is the people in the
organization who protect or minimize (i.e., buffer) the
behavior of the “toxic employee.”

By their failure to deal with incivility, these protectors
and buffers are telling everyone that the organization has
a high tolerance for toxicity.

A survey of managers and employees discovered the
following reactions to people who faced incivility:
38% intentionally decreased work quality
47% intentionally decreased time at work
48% intentionally decreased work effort
63% lost work time trying to avoid the offender
78% said their commitment to the company declined.

With these shocking statistics, the only question is, “Why
would any organization allow a toxic employee this much
control?”

In next week’s blog, we’ll identify the solution for
incivility, which is much more creative than simple
disciplinary action.

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2 Responses to Incivility in the Workplace – The Problem

  1. Cynthia says:

    So glad you addressed this. The statistics are shocking and should wake management up! My fear is that due to the high unemployment rate, incivility will continue, and unfortunately, again become the “norm”. It is up to those of us that have the ability to stop it one person at a time to do so…however long the battle. I continue to make a point of mentioning my observations when I see incivility… to my friends and to my clients and it has not come back to harm me. Kudos for this and future articles on this subject.

  2. Beville May says:

    This is a great topic, and more HR professionals and managers should heed and respond to incivility in the workplace. We can’t control incivility out of work, but we sure can make an effort to eradicate in the work place! It’s a project we can all join in on especially given the statistics Rich cites.

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