5 Ways to Eliminate Rudeness from the Workplace


Eliminate Rudeness from your Workplace

Overcoming civility in the workplace can be a big challenge, especially in companies where blatant tolerance for explicit and implicit acts of rudeness is already the norm. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create a civil workplace.

The following are just some of the recommended interventions for creating greater civility in your company:

  1. Create, communicate, and enforce policies regarding civil behavior in the workplace. 

Organizations have the power to create the kind of culture they desire by making the practice of civil behavior part of company policy. The key is in being explicit from the very onset what is desired and expected behavior from managers and staff members alike. These policies should be included in the training program of each incoming employee. Pre-determined consequences of uncivil behavior in the workplace must also be consistently enforced to ensure that civility ideals don’t remain just words on paper. The creation of a company civility policy will be discussed in later modules.

  1. Screen job applicants for tendency towards uncivil behavior. 

Companies can create pleasant and ethical working environments by carefully choosing personalities who will make up the organization. It can only take one bully to create much distress in an organization, which is why it’s important that persons with tendencies towards inconsideration, aggression, and disrespect are filtered out from as early as the job interview. This may sound like common sense, but in reality, companies are willing to overlook personality traits that point to potential uncivil behavior when faced with an employee with impressive credentials and experience. Most instigators of incivility in the workplace are those in management, and competent managers are hard to find. It wouldn’t be surprising if business owners and stockholders turn a blind eye on incivility just to keep top brass.

  1. Provide continuous education and training on civility. 

Civil behavior is a skill, and many cases of incivility are simply the result of lack of knowledge and/or practice of skills needed to navigate the workplace in a respectful and considerate fashion. Companies are encouraged to regularly raise awareness on the costs of incivility, as well as keep employees trained in civility-related concepts such as gender sensitivity, harassment in the workplace, stress management, conflict management, and workplace etiquette. Assigning advocates among management and staff members is also an excellent way to keep the momentum of civility training programs going.

  1. Practice regular self-assessment. 

If you want to create an environment that values civility, then you have to look no further than yourself. Make sure that you always look at your own behavior and identify the ways you contribute to workplace incivility. All people are guilty of uncivil behavior, some regularly, others on occasion, but this doesn’t make it ok. Modeling civil behavior in your workplace can be the beginning of organizational change.

  1. Increase accountability and transparency in the company. 

Incivility in the workplace may persist because company set-up makes it easy for acts of incivility to go unnoticed. If there is nothing keeping an employee from posting derogatory emails to co-workers anonymously, then the company is providing instigators with opportunity. If performance review is based only on the opinion of the immediate supervisor, then it gives supervisors leverage to treat subordinates as they wish. But if there is a system for accountability and transparency in a company, then there is a deterrent against instigators of incivility.

If you are interested in receiving one-on-one or group coaching to work with a professional or on improving your business through employee wellness coaching or EAP services, then contact Jasper & Associates today.

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