Where has it gone? This question is top of mind for many perhaps even you. Our offices today are often brimming with sarcasm, rudeness, slights, and criticism lacking in respect for bosses, employees, and co-workers alike. These slights weigh heavy on the hearts and minds of the workforce leaving them feeling small and insignificant. None of which bodes well for either the worker or the company who employs them.
Chris Rosen professor of management in the Sam M. Walton College of Business estimates incivility: on average costs companies about $14,000 per employee annually because of loss of production and work time.
How is incivility impacting the attitudes of an organization’s employees?
- 55 percent say: hurts my job morale;
- 45 percent say: makes me want to quit;
- 40 percent say: leads me to be less collaborative;
- 38 percent say: causes me to feel anger toward my coworkers or employer;
- 36 percent say: reduces the quality of my work;
- 33 percent say: causes me to discourage others from joining where I work;
- 32 percent say: has a negative effect on my personal time away from work;
- 26 percent say: leads me to be less creative;
- 23 percent say: leads me to call in sick;
- 10 percent say: in some other way not listed.
And Christine Porath’s research attests that bouts of uncivil exchanges are increasing as employees reporting being treated rudely by colleagues at least once a month has risen from 49 percent in 1998, to 55 percent in 2011, and 62 percent in 2016! It’s akin to the virulent outbreak of a communicable disease in our companies though far more contagious and far more lethal because it adversely affects everyone. Rosen confirms the contagious aspect, as he states: Basically, incivility begets incivility. It’s a vicious never-ending cycle showing no sign of slowing down in today’s corporate landscape, and it must stop.
We may with some legitimacy point fingers at our leaders as the culprits of the epidemic. Nevertheless, only as each employee assumes responsibility for his or her actions and responses can we begin snuffing it out in our organization. And 75 percent of Americans said they’d be willing to set a good example by practicing civility.
We’re all aware this epidemic of incivility is at a crisis level. We see it. We feel it. We dislike it.
But returning to a culture of civility isn’t something we can sort out in a leisurely fashion. It needs to happen stat if we have any hope of turning our businesses into a healthy work environment where employees are fully engaged, committed, and delighted to be part of the company. So, how is your S.T.A.T. scorecard?
Squared Away: Noone is perfect, so make sure you clean your messes up and express regret, when appropriate, as fast and as soon as possible.
Thoughtfulness: Showing respect and kindness is a big start toward the process of civility.
Acknowledgment: Appreciation shrinks relationship gaps as the organization recognizes you value the contribution of every person.
Tolerant: We all hold strong views, based on our life experiences, and rigidly holding on to them closes doors to civility, so it’s vital to open the doors of your mind.