In 2016, 62% of employees were treated rudely at work at least once a month, according to a global, annual poll on workplace incivility. Does that figure surprise you?
The sad consequence of rude behavior is that 22% of employees say they purposely quit doing their best work due to incivility. The impact on the organization is a decline in overall performance as employees feel less committed, spend less time at work, and even take out their frustrations on clients.
At the request of a long-time client, we recently developed a program on communicating professionally—using tools for body language, active listening, meetings behavior, handling conflict, email and telephone etiquette, and stopping gossip.
But where do we find role models from history (our specialty) to illustrate civility? Our research discovered that George Washington wrote “Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation” as a school exercise in 1744. Many of his 110 rules are equally relevant today as they were two centuries ago.
Thank you, Mr. President. Anna Post, great-granddaughter of Emily Post, puts Washington’s rules into perspective.
Manners do change over time, our society advances, so how we interact as part of it changes, too. We see this in the disappearance of chaperones and calling cards, and in new standards for new technology, such as cell phones and social networks. But there are some aspects of etiquette that are tried and true, gold standards unchanged no matter the times, no matter the culture. These essential principles of how we treat one another are consideration, respect, and honesty... They are the standard to look to when you are unsure of how to act.
If you need some civility training for your team, give us a call, 717-334-9089. Let’s help bring respect back to the workplace.