What Disrespect Can Cost a Company
98% of people say that they have experienced uncivil behavior at work. A disrespectful environment can leave employees upset and frustrated. Incivility can also be extremely costly to an organization. Christine Porath and Christine Pearson collected data from 14,000 people in the U.S. and Canada to find out the true costs of incivility. Here are just a few things that companies can lose in an uncivil work environment.
Productivity and creativity | In one poll, 48% of people said they intentionally decreased their work effort after experiencing incivility, 47% said they decreased the time they spent at work, and 78% said that their commitment to the company dropped. People who were treated rudely were 30% less creative than others, and came up with 25% fewer ideas.
Customers | Customers are turned off by rude behavior, even if it isn’t directed at them. In one experiment, half the participants saw a “bank representative” publicly reprimanding another employee. Only 20% of people who were exposed to the encounter said they would use the bank’s services again, compared to 80% of people who didn’t see it.
Time and money | Managers and executives at Fortune 1,000 firms spend 13% of their time – 7 weeks a year – fixing employee relationships. Costs increase even more when the company needs to bring in consultants and lawyers.
How do you make sure that your company doesn’t incur these costs? The authors have a couple of suggestions. Teach employees to practice common courtesy with tactics like “the 10/5 way.” When someone is within 10 feet of you, you smile and make eye contact, and when they’re within 5 feet, you say hello. You can also teach employees to be more civil by having them look at their current behavior. Film employees interacting with each other, and ask them to analyze their facial expressions, posture, words, and tone. Porath and Pearson recommend having employees watch the video three times: once with sound and image to see the overall effect, once with no sound to focus on nonverbal communication, and once with only sound to focus on their speech characteristics. When people are aware of their behavior, it’s easier for them to make a change.
For more tips on how to combat incivility in your office, read the full article.