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1. Workplace Civility- Introduction
Workplace Civility has been defined as a set of politics that are practiced in workplaces to prevent any employee from exhibiting deviant behaviors with an intent to harm someone. Uncivil behaviors are characteristically rude and discourteous, displaying a lack of regard for others. In this tutorial, we will explain such situations from spiraling out of control.
This tutorial is designed primarily for those professionals who have been promoted to a managerial position in a target-oriented job. This tutorial aims at teaching them the differences between being an achiever and an abuser.
Before proceeding with this tutorial, you are expected to have a calm mindset and be open to exploring the suggestions mentioned here.
2. Incivility at workplace
Such employees decide to weather out the stormy employment scenario so that they can quit the company when the time is right, however many of these don’t manage to see the bright side of this picture and deviate into destructive behavior. Instead of quitting or retailing, they strike out against their employees by engaging in action that are detrimental to the organizations. This negative driving force is results in uncivil behavior.
When these employees are denied their due in the eyes of the management, they tend to think that management owes them which leads to such abusing of office supplies. Because employees operate and utilize the majority of a company’s asset, they tend to direct their frustration and anger by abusing the company resources, using office equipment, even stealing them. They start reporting late, slacking in work, leaving early and delivering low quality output. This happen because their sense of commitment and obligation towards their employer is destroyed. When that line is breached, employees simply stop caring about the employer.
Worse still is the fact that these employees will gain approval from other equally-mistreated employees, snowballing the unproductivity and slackness even further into a huge loss for the company. Such behaviors are called acting out. This is the stage where people want to forget the cause of their unhappiness by talking part in destructive actions that they think justifies their ill-treatment. Many employees who act out of anger cite not getting enough respect as the main reason behind their uncivil behaviors, closely followed by not getting enough recognition.
While these two are the top reasons for minor offenses, they are not the reason behind severe offenses. It is also found that while employees become less productive when they are not satisfied with their work or the work environment, the deviant behavior is not universal. Many organizations produce a sustained supply of quality output even if employees complain of longer hours, lesser pay and erratic schedules.
3. Causes of workplace Incivility
A case could be made that it’s fair to the supervisors and managers to paint all of their sub-ordinates and associates under them in a negative light, as all of them don’t have the same managerial style and approach to work. Indeed, our very first premise began by wondering are not so common where there are millions of employees getting reprimanded, terminated and influenced every day.
There’s no questioning the talent and team-managing skills that are employed by many efficient managers and supervisors all over the world, however, there are certain situations when even the most seasoned and adept managers are found at the end of their tether. Such situations are often caused when managers are often caused when managers are spurred on to achieve unrealistic targets within pressing deadlines.
Such expectations force the managers to apply relentless pressure on their teams to extract the best performance out of them. While this might give positive results at times, but expecting a team to meet stiff targets every day is unrealistic and when a team does bad, it results in a kick the cat situation
where the managers won’t be able to vent their frustration on anyone other than the helpless subordinates, and the unwelcome actions they conduct on that particular day forms the basics of incivility. After having a discussion with HR heads and disgruntled ex-employees, researchers identified the five major areas which were behind the uncivil behavior of most employees-
• Pay-Cuts- It was found that making frequent pay-cuts was one of the biggest reasons many employees resorted to uncivil behavior.
• Part-time Employees- Employing part-time employees when there already is a full-time staff made the existing full-time employees uncertain about their job and career prospectus, leading them toward uncivil behavior.
• Freezing Payments- Freezing payments of staff and making budget-cutting makes the workplace extremely unfavorable for an employee.
• Changing Managers- Employees get used to the managerial styles of their supervisors and become productive over a period of time. Making sudden managerial changes significantly decrease the levels of employee’s engagement.
In addition to these administrative reasons, improper working environments like unhygienic workplace, high temperature, and poor ventilation also influence uncivil behavior.
4. Types of Workplace Incivility
Different people have different levels of tolerance for mistreatment and ill-behavior at the hands of their employees or supervisors. Depending on these levels, they may exhibit different types of uncivil behavior.
Experts have studied these various levels of incivility. Let’s discuss them-
Verbal-passive indirect – No interest in clarifying any false.
Verbal-passive-direct – Silent treatment of co-workers, not answering calls or replying to emails. Avoiding contact.
Verbal-active-indirect – Propagating lies and rumors about co-workers and belting other ideas
Verbal-active-direct – Insulting people, giving condescending replies and yelling at coworkers.
Physical-passive indirect – Influencing others to stop co-operating with specific people in the workplace.
Physical-passive-direct – Typing to be in groups with larger number of people, to camouflage underperformance.
Physical-active indirect – Stealing office resources, destroying property, abusing equipment,
Physical-active -direct – Physically attacking people, verbally assaulting, sending cold nonverbal messages.