You provide hand sanitizer at every door and soap in all of the restrooms. You encourage employees to work out and to stay healthy. You work hard to keep employees healthy.
But unfortunately there is another virus that is spreading, and if it goes untreated, it too can hurt your bottom line… The Incivility Virus.
A recent University of Florida study found that mistreated people are also more likely to feel as if others are treating them rudely. They then respond with more rudeness, passing on negative emotions like a virus.
According to Trevor Foulk, the study’s lead author, “Rudeness has an incredibly powerful negative effect on the workplace.” The study was published recently in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
Just like secondhand smoke from cigarettes, the study found that disrespect also has harmful side effects. Participants who watched a video of an impolite workplace interaction and then answered an email from a fictitious customer were more likely to be discourteous in their responses than people who watched a video of a polite interaction.
“That tells us that rudeness will flavor the way you interpret ambiguous cues,” Foulk said.
Workplace Incivility can rear its ugly head in many places; there are three basic types:
- Interpersonal – This might happen when someone doesn’t say thank you after you did something nice for them.
- Cyber Incivility – sending time sensitive information without giving the recipient a heads up. Not responding to emails. Using abrupt or curt verbiage in emails that leave the receiver questioning the tone of delivery. Without tone of voice, there is unfortunately room for interpretation, and we may end up seeing the sender as being rude.
- Victimless – this is the ‘leave it for someone else to do’ syndrome. Leaving the coffee pot empty, leaving a paper jam in the copier without trying to fix it or report it, throwing trash ‘close’ the receptacle and not picking it up to put it in the trashcan. Victimless incivility does not have an instant impact on others, but it definitely violates norms and expectations for courtesy.
Civility costs nothing but goes a long way in helping to keep employee moral healthy, and boost your bottom line. Here are a few tips to help cultivate civility in your office:
- Lead by Example. Management has to be onboard and they have to model civility at all times. If employees see their boss being disrespectful, it sets an underlying tone that the behavior is acceptable.
- Have a discussion during staff meeting. Have the staff establish the norms and expectations so that everyone is onboard and understands what is expected.
- No one gets a hall pass. Put your foot down; stop it in its place, especially any recurring offenders. Everyone plays be the same rules, even your favorite ‘rock star’ on the team. If the other team members see that you gave Betty a hall pass because she’s the top salesman – that will only help to perpetuate the incivility virus.
- ‘Don’t let crazy in the door.’ I heard that phrase one time from Dave Ramsey and I’ve thought about it many times since. Do your due diligence during the interview process. Take the potential new hire out to eat with their significant other and watch closely how they treat that person. Pay attention to how they interact with the wait staff. It’s much easier to find out before you hire someone if they’re disrespectful than after you’ve brought them ‘in the door’.
Continuing Education is a good thing, and Civility Training will help to keep the incivility virus at bay in your office. Please email or call to talk more about how I can offer beneficial training to your team.
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As always – Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue
Back to ‘Business’ School for Adults; are YOU ready for a great Continuing Education opportunity? The Executive Success Series begins in September. Research shows that 85 percent of success in the business world hinges on your soft skills, and only 15 percent on your technical skills. Yet many people do not take the time to invest in the most critical part of their professional training, the crucial social skills that enhance your ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead which helps you build relationships and close deals. Are you ready to invest in your 85 percent?
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Registration is under way for our 5-12th grade programs that start soon. Register today!
Did you know we have products available?
We have a few of styles and designs of personalized youth stationery available. We also have darling place mats that help the little ones in your life get a jump-start on their table manners and make dining more fun. Here is the link to the shop.