Employers: Uncivil Employees Will Cost You; $14K Per

I guess we can't totally blame Trump.  But incivility in the workplace is becoming an epidemic, according to a new study.

As reported at newswise.com, condescending comments, put-downs, and sarcasm have become commonplace, and here, well, okay, I won't blame Trump.

OK, so I'm making fun, but it turns out this is a serious concern because experiencing such rude behavior, well, makes us rude, too.  And then it just spreads. The study found that it reduces our own self-control and makes us respond in kind.  And now what kind of a workplace do you have?

"People who are recipients of rudeness at work feel mentally fatigued, as a result, because uncivil behaviors are somewhat ambiguous and require employees to figure out whether there was any abusive intent," say the authors.   "This mental fatigue, in turn, leads people to act uncivil toward other workers.  In other words, they pay the incivility forward."

While curt remarks and other forms of incivility do not involve such openly hostile behaviors as bullying and threats, they are a frequent occurrence in the workplace and have a significant effect on employees, the study found.  And here's the biggest reason companies may want to worry about it: incivility has an annual impact of $14,000 per employee in productivity and work time.

The study also found that incivility "spirals," as you might expect, spreading like a, well, an epidemic.

I've encountered incivility (and bullying) in the workplace when I was younger and less able to handle it.  I had a boss who made fun of my writing -- and often turned it over to (in my opinion) less-talented employees to "fix" it.  I don't know if that counts as incivility but it sure hurt.

"Being the victim of incivility leaves employees depleted because they must expend energy to figure out why they were targeted," say the authors, "and how to respond." 

I guess we'll never be able to completely rid the world of rudeness (and certainly not if an ego-obsessed, grudge holder,put-downer becomes president).  And while we're talking about incivility and how this election season may have changed the character of America from one of tolerance and acceptance to one which chants "Build the wall!" at football games where Hispanics play and terrifies elementary school children that they're going to be deported, it may also destroy our world, as well.

So think twice before you pass on the nasty rumor about your cubicle mate or shove your seat back on the person behind you who accidentally bangs into your chair every time she goes into her briefcase.  Don't spread any more incivility in the atmosphere.


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