Workplace Incivility: A Growing Concern for Employees and Companies

Workplace civility is essential for a positive work environment where employees can feel safe, respected, and valued. However, despite this necessity, workplace incivility is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in today’s society, leading to several problematic consequences for employees and companies alike. This article will discuss the severity of workplace incivility, statistics surrounding workplace incivility, the consequences of incivility in the workplace, how it affects employees, and steps that employers can take to improve employee engagement.

Workplace Incivility Statistics

A survey conducted by meQuilibrium found that one in four adults in the US experienced rudeness from their co-workers. This means that out of the 100 employees in a company, 25 of them can report some form of workplace incivility. The research also found that approximately 24% of workers reported having their judgment questioned at work, while 26% of respondents reported being ignored by their colleagues.

Types of Workplace Incivility

The two different types of incivility reported in the study were questioning judgment and being ignored by one’s colleagues. The former is characterized by second-guessing an employee’s decisions, ridiculing their ideas, and doubting their abilities. The latter shows a lack of acknowledgment and appreciation for a colleague’s existence, resulting in feelings of invisibility, exclusion, and unappreciation.

Consequences of Workplace Incivility

Workplace incivility does not only harm a company’s reputation but also erodes trust between direct reports and managers. When employees do not trust their managers or feel valued, they are unlikely to put in their best effort or go above and beyond. This can result in poor morale among employees, reduced productivity, and bad customer service. A decline in productivity typically costs the company more in terms of time and money.

Workplace Incivility in Society

Workplace incivility is becoming increasingly prevalent, and it is not limited to the office. Customers can be uncivil as well; this was emphasized by Axonify’s report, which discussed how customer hostility is at an all-time high. This means that even when employees manage to survive uncivil workplaces, they will still face abuse from customers, which can lead to long-term psychological effects.

Effects of Workplace Incivility on Employees

Workplace incivility leads to higher rates of absenteeism and attrition. Employees who experience incivility are more likely to take more days off work or consider leaving their jobs. Additionally, the lack of appreciation of work reduces employees’ motivation and emotional involvement in their job performance. Poor emotional well-being from experiencing incivility in the workplace is detrimental, particularly when it results from a perception or lack of recognition.

Improving Employee Engagement

Employers can improve employee engagement by paying attention to their employees. They can do this by being more attentive to their workers and recognizing their efforts. If an employee is ignored, passed over, or has a negative experience, the manager should check in with the employee and mentor or train the other employee involved. Employers are also encouraged to provide regular feedback and support, but this needs to be communicated carefully to avoid challenging employees’ judgement. Employers should also show appreciation through meaningful interactions like thoughtful gestures and recognition.

Link Between Quiet Quitting and Burnout

Researchers have reaffirmed the association between burnout and “quiet quitting,” which is linked to stress-impaired productivity, according to their findings. Burnout is the point where the employee gets overwhelmed by workload and shows signs of lack of motivation, breaking down, or quitting the job with little fanfare. These negative effects are particularly prevalent among younger workers who reported higher levels of stress-impaired productivity and increased endorsement of quiet quitting.

The importance of addressing workplace incivility cannot be overstated, as it has serious consequences for employees and companies alike. Companies must take steps to reduce incivility and create an inclusive work environment that values all employees. Prioritizing the experience of employees brings about multiple benefits, including higher productivity rates, lower absenteeism rates, and higher employee retention rates. Ultimately, promoting a culture of civility prevents long-lasting psychological damage while promoting mutual respect and teamwork.

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