OSU Leadership Center

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

Office Civility

Workplace stress and tension are rising, which manifests as rudeness and inappropriate behavior. 
 
To put it bluntly, there is a serious decrease in politeness and common courtesy in the workplace.  It may start with unanswered telephone messages, not holding a door for a co-worker, a rude comment or a look, omitting "thank you" and "please," or simply not smiling.  These innocuous day-to-day discourtesies often escalate to incivilities such as abrupt e-mails, bickering between co-workers, insensitive and offensive behavior, and other violations of social norms of respect.  It's not uncommon for simple rudeness to escalate into acts of violence. 
 
If you're thinking it can't happen in your company, think again.  There is much evidence to the contrary.  In a study performed at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) on 650 individuals, it was discovered that "75% of the participants have experienced incivility in the workplace, 80% have observed incivility in the workplace, and 50% have actually felt the urge to be uncivil in the workplace."
 
What happens when uncivil behavior goes unchecked?  Plenty.  The same SNHU study discovered that due to incivility, 24% of the study participants permanently left employment, 18% missed workdays, and 24% have left work early.  In addition, 51% felt that their efficiency and productivity have been negatively influenced by uncivil acts at their work.  Other undesirable outcomes include loss of morale, counter productivity and pathetic customer service.  And not so uncommon anymore are disgruntled employees who vocalize complaints to clients and file various lawsuits and claims of wrongful termination due to hostile work environments.
 
Participants will:

  • Identify proactive steps to prevent their work environments from being hotbeds of incivility. 
  • Learn to build an atmosphere of professionalism in their companies. 
  • Discover ways to help encourage employees to be accountable for their actions, behaviors and moods.