Civility Among Coworkers
In a study by Georgetown University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management, 96% of nearly 3,000 participants say they have experienced uncivil behavior in the workplace. Now organizations from Dish Satellite Corp to the NSA are following a lead set by companies like the employee-friendly Southwest Airlines, and implementing programs to improve civility among co-workers.
Warm and fuzzy time wasting? Not at all. Cisco Systems estimated the cost of employee incivility at $8.3 million annually and took action to counter the weakened commitment that resulted.
At the top of Georgetown U Professor Christine Porath’s list of rudeness-combating tips: Never criticize people behind their backs.
We agree. Everyone gets irritated with co-workers sometimes, but our belief is that if your frustration is great enough to vent to a third party, you need to discuss your issue face-to-face with the person concerned.
Please let us know: If someone comes to you with a gripe or complaint about someone else, what do you do? Do you get involved or send the individual back to the source of his or her concern? Do you ever enlist someone as your “sounding board” instead of going to the source of your concern? Share your responses to this weekly discussion question here.
Uncivility in the workplace is a major problem. I am glad you brought this up. It has been a very difficult subject to deal with. We have had a great deal of hostility and anger build up over that very problem in our own company. I hate to admit this, but the women who continually want to have some kind of drama going and will say things to keep it stirred up - have cost us a lot of time, money, and morale. There is too much polarity established over choosing sides, and that causes divisive problems within people who need to be able to work together to do the job well. There are those that try and avoid the drama and just do their jobs, but they are often vilified by the very people they don't want to engage in uncivil behavior with. Personally, I don't understand or deal well with this. On a personal or a work level it is very disruptive to me. Men seem to be less inclined to behave this way, but even they will get into some problems with each other at times. They tend to deal more directly with the person and the disagreement though. I think if you have a problem with someone, you should speak to them first. If there is not a positive way to resolve it, then you involve a supervisor or management. Telling others, and starting rumors or uncivil treatment of another employee is not acceptable and should not happen. Solving the problem once it happens is something that is very difficult and takes time and forgiveness on both sides.
11/5/2013 09:07:00 am
Sounds like some agreements or ground rules could be useful. Developing them together can also help build teams. Then how people interact with each other becomes a performance management measure that matters as much as sales or quality and is something people become accountable for.
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