Between bullying, discrimination and generally rude behavior, the workplace isn’t as civil as it once was. Incivility in the office can lead to higher turnover, lower morale and loyalty, and even increased consumer complaints. How can managers foster a culture of civility in the workplace?
Christine Pearson and Christine Porath, the authors of “The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It,” have some ideas, which they shared with Washington Post columnist Joyce E.A. Russell:
- Lead by example. A considerate boss who does not tolerate incivility in the workplace will encourage his or her subordinates to follow suit.
- Educate the team. Offer stress and anger management training to teach employees how to express and resolve conflict in a constructive, healthy manner.
- Consider a dress code. Pearson and Porath point out that some link lax dress codes to casual, familiar behavior in the office. In some cases, this opens the door to a lack of professionalism.
- Stress the importance of careful consideration. “Too often, emails or text messages are sent out in rapid fire, which only serve to escalate a situation,” wrote Russell.
- Emphasize accountability. Employees must take responsibility for their actions and embrace any consequences that come as a result of these actions. For example, an employee who shows up late to a meeting should apologize out of common courtesy and respect.
What other suggestions would you offer to make the workplace more civil?
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