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Manners, Please: Workplace Civility

July 26, 2012

D&B Consulting

How imporant is it to have a workplace culture that values civility?  And not just in a written statement of organizational values, but in practice?

I have heard many stories of screaming matches, and other demeaning and rude behavior in workplaces.  If employees are focused on emotional reactions, they are not focusing on their work and the organization. And this can affect the organization’s bottom line.

According to a recent article by Joyce E. A. Russell, a lack of civility drains productivity as employees deal with the stress caused by interactions with one another.

She lists some tips for organizations.  I have added to this list.

1. Role model good manners.
2. Train employees on how to show respect for their co-workers.
3. Incorporate and execute a zero-tolerance policy for abrasive behavior.
4. Use a self-assessment tool such as the MBTI to help employees identify their personality,  communication  and conflict management styles, and to identify what triggers intense reactions or responses.  Then coach employees to monitor their behavior and the way they deal with conflict.  Encourage employees to  ask for feedback regarding how they come across to others, or better yet, use 360 degree feedback  or team building workshops.
5. Provide anger and stress management training.
6.  Encourage employees to wait to reply to emails or text messages that elicit in them emotional reactions. Employees should first think about an appropriate response, and consider  a phone call or in person meeting, if possible.  Emails and texts can come across in a different manner than was intended.
7.  Consider implementing a business, or business casual dress code, if you  do not have one.  This can aid a professional environment where professional behavior is expected.
8. Encourage employees to ask for feedback.

One Comment
  1. Hi Brown, Great subjected discussed. but the fact is there is no Manners in today's workplace. my boss comes and shouts at me before every one in the office, at that movement i feel like leaving the office. He need work and nothing else. i so thanks for people like you making some good articles..thanks Employee Statements

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