Civility in the Workplace

When searching for a job we are all hoping to find not only an opportunity to pursue our passions but also a sanctuary away from home. We hope to have coworkers who are patient and understanding. We hope to feel encouraged rather than reluctant when it comes to speaking up and sharing our ideas. We hope for a workplace with civility and kindness.

Civility is much more than expressing something in a polite manner. It describes the ability to disagree without being disrespectful. In a professional atmosphere, establishing common ground on which dialogue and/or difficult conversations can occur is crucial to protect employees’ feelings and trust within the atmosphere.

Civility requires being present for meaningful conversations, even those that cause frustration due to disagreement. In essence, it is a position by which people can solve problems and discuss ideas in a productive format. Therefore, civility is crucial for customer service, team building, innovation, problem solving, and maintaining healthy relationships.

An instance in which an employee feels ignored, threatened or judged based on sharing their opinion can be detrimental to a workplace environment. That person will likely be afraid to share openly in the future and any bystanders may worry that the same circumstance could happen to them. Promoting full disclosure and respectful responses helps all employees feel comfortable.

Civility training can “boost morale and teamwork, enhance employee performance and satisfaction, reduce employee turnover and even the number of sick days,” according to ELI Inc.

Employees should always feel that their organization is committed to nurturing civility. Training employees about topics and situations which are unacceptable, and demonstrating how to avoid overstepping bounds can help promote mutual understanding and tranquility.


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