We’ve all seen it many times: rude or disrespectful behaviour such as eye rolling, pointed sarcasm, gossip, social exclusion, belittling, and various forms of dismissive body language. If left unchecked, workplace incivility has surprisingly far-reaching effects on motivation, engagement, productivity, psychological health, talent retention, teamwork and organizational reputation.
Conversely, a culture of respect supports excellence. It creates optimal conditions for trust, collaboration, innovation, loyalty and engagement. And yet, incivility persists in many organizations, who fail to create the vision and culture that will support sustained civility. Furthermore, there are significant challenges in determining the underlying shared beliefs that form a fertile ground for bad behaviour, often leading to a lack of meaningful action from managers and the organization as a whole.
So what can be done to tame workplace incivility?