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Civility in the Workplace Is Critical

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Etiquette is a nebulous term, and in the business world it goes far beyond just saying “please” and “thank you.” In the modern world, there are many considerations to be made given workplaces comprised of blended generations, mixed cultures, gender issues, and the omnipresent specter of technology. Most would agree that a respectful workplace is a present workplace, but what does that mean? Rosanne Thomas, author of Excuse Me: The Survival Guide to Modern Business Etiquette, says that incivility comes in many forms, such as unreturned phone calls, condescending remarks, public reprimands, and rude emails, and the outcome is the same: a significant, measurable cost to employers. “It’s estimated that workplace incivility costs companies an average of $14,000 in lost productivity per employee, per year,” she says. “Organizations also face exposure to increased legal, medical, and hiring costs because of incivility.” Creating a civil workplace can be difficult, however, especially in a world of social media, political discourse, and rants from news show talking heads and the like which are rife with disrespect. Organizations need to rise above this, Thomas says, and it starts with leadership. "When a leader tolerates or engages in bad behavior, especially when it runs counter to the organization’s avowed standards, credibility is lost,” she says. “A confused and demoralized staff is left wondering exactly what is expected of them.”

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I would like to know how others find ways to be "ahead" of issues between employees. There are plenty of tools/templates for what to do after an incident occurs, yet trying to educate employees about being nice if they are being nice already is not always endorsed by other leaders.
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