by Joyce Marsh, SPHR, Sr. HR Consultant
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone said and did the right thing all the time and no one’s feelings ever got hurt? That would be a perfect world – which, of course, we know we don’t live in. But we can wish, can’t we?!
Ensuring that employees practice civility in the workplace is a progressive activity. Civility being courteous and polite. It doesn’t sound that difficult to be nice, but because of various negative factors, we sometimes digress. Following are some tips for resisting bad manners and encouraging civility in the workplace. Remember, it starts with you:
- Personality conflicts – Empathetically putting oneself in the other person’s “shoes” can help you see the conflict in a completely different light.
- Holding your tongue – Think before speaking. Look for the good in others and focus on their strengths.
- Lead by example – Random acts of kindness and sincere compliments of a “job well done” are always encouraging. And they’re much better than speeches that tear someone down.
The Cost of Incivility
Incivility is degrading to all who are affected by it, regardless of whether it is directed at them or if they’re a witness to its hurtfulness. When incivility reigns, it can quickly turn into a claim of harassment or a hostile work environment.
Train your employees to be respectful of others, and to look for positive qualities in them too.
Someday, they themselves, could be the victim, and what a lonely place that would be! Teaching employees to be aware of, and think about, the effects of what they say or do can help them be more thoughtful and considerate workmates. Civility leads to less turnover, better productivity and a happier staff.