Why Should You Care About Workplace Civility?

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(Newswire.net — May 29, 2020) Lehi, UTAH —Small business owners may be completely unaware that bullies are trolling the workplace since a bully knows you don’t bully the boss! Regardless of whether awareness of the bully exists it is the business owner who should take steps to promote and manage civility. Civility is treating others the way you would want to be treated. But civility is about more than just being polite. Civility means we are able to find common ground and respect for those with whom we associate in spite of our differences—a concept that is quickly being lost in the world.

Is It Really That Hard To Be Nice?

Civility is paramount in the workplace as it cultivates the behaviors that promote mutual respect between coworkers. As 2019 came to a close there were 157 million Americans in the workforce, with many of those sitting next to each other in neat little rows of cubicles or working together in groups and teams. Not everyone is going to like the individuals they work with. Why? Political, social-economic, religious, ethnic, and personality differences along with inadvertent remarks, off-hand comments, or even cheering one team over another can create tension and negative feelings between co-workers. The bottom line: It is inevitable that your employees will have to stretch to maintain a professional relationship with a coworker.

Avoid Costly Lawsuits With Civility Training

Small business attorney Dana Ball says, “If you can manage civility in the workplace, you will decrease the incidents that turn into full-blown lawsuits. Incivility is the incubator of hostile work environment claims and sadly, most people have no idea their behavior-their jokes or comments-are crossing the line. Civility starts at the top.”  Incorporate training on civility just like you hopefully are training about anti-harassment.

Are You Being Rude?

As uncomfortable as it may feel, business owners and managers need to look inside themselves first to see if their behavior could be fostering an environment of incivility. According to Ball paying attention to civility is paying attention to our own behavior. Have you, as the owner or manager, ever been guilty of the following?

  • Have you ever sat in a meeting while spending more time on your computer sending emails or checking social media than listening to the meeting?
  • Have you ever kept someone waiting for long periods of time?
  • Do you fail to acknowledge other people? 
  • Do you smile and say hello to each person you meet? 
  • Do you fail to introduce people, especially a new employee?
  • Do you respond to email invitations or return voicemail messages?

Employees and Bosses Should Exhibit Civil Behavior

Business owners cannot assume everyone has been taught the Golden Rule and basic etiquette. Employee handbooks should have an etiquette or civility section. It is not enough to define norms. You also have to train employees to explicitly understand and respect what civility looks like says Christine Porath in Harvard Business Review. It is also important to articulate values and set expectations which will give employees the skills necessary to promote civility at work. Dana Ball suggests reviving the lost rules of etiquette will go a long way in reducing hostile work environment and harassment claims. “Be an example and encourage your team to be mindful of their own behavior.” Incivility at work decreases production which decreases a business owner’s bottom line, making it very difficult to grow and run a successful business.

Managing Our Own Behavior Is A Choice

We all have choices on how to respond or react to each other.  Reminding ourselves to stay calm, put a smile on our face, respond timely, and respect each other at work will only create positivity.  It starts with each of us individually taking responsibility for our actions.  Business owners can set the expectation that incivility is not tolerated.  Even if you have crap going on in your life, pretend you are at Disneyland when you get to work, let yourself be positive, let yourself smile, and let yourself get through the day being civil.  Try it and what happens may surprise you. 

(Newswire.net — May 29, 2020) Lehi, UTAH —

About Dana Ball Legal Services

Dana Ball is a former litigation attorney who used to sue businesses. She has seen too many good business owners end up in bad situations, so today she helps them avoid common legal mistakes that land them in court. Dana’s 20 years of experience brings value and relief to small business owners with practical advice they can immediately implement into their day-to-day operations. Dana has made the whole process of having access to a lawyer easy and affordable with set pricing, ongoing legal support, and monthly plans to spread out the costs of safeguarding the business. Dana works with clients who care about their business and want to avoid court.

Dana Ball Legal Services

3450 N. Triumph Blvd
Ste 102
Lehi, UTAH 84043
United States