How much time do you spend obsessing over that rude person that keeps encroaching on your personal space, or that guy that likes to stare at you pervily as you pass him in the hall?
Or the unfairness of that one person getting in to work late, but still getting out at the same time as you… and getting away with it? What about those women that will comment on your appearance or make underhanded remarks about what you’re wearing with a fake smile plastered on their faces?
Do you ever wonder about the effect of rude people in your place of work?
Well now you don’t! It turns out that we are less productive when exposed to rudeness of all sorts.
Not only is “this is a mainstream problem that happens in organizations that are generally well respected and think they’re quite employee friendly,”
but it’s something that actually affects us all. And more than we probably know.
Turns out that:
Incivility can be quite costly to employers in terms of reduced productivity and higher turnover rates. In her research, Porath found that 80% of victims of incivility lost work time worrying about the incidents, 78% felt less committed to their employers, and nearly half decreased their work effort. “Studies also show that people even perform worse when they just witness incivility and aren’t the target of it themselves.”
This totally makes sense to me. When someone is a jerk to others, people start talking about it. First it’s once, then twice, then soon enough the whole office has something to say. And at that point just the presence of the offending party can trigger a memory of that person being outrageous.
So what are employers doing about this, or do they even notice that their trusty worker bees could be a lot more productive with some minor tweaks?
In my opinion, I’ve noticed that unfortunately the offending parties often thrive in large work settings. They know how to charm just the right set so that when complaints about their behavior start to surface, employers aren’t sure how their favorites could possibly be acting in such a different way.
Or sometimes employers don’t seem to care about the effects rudeness, missing a crucial opportunity to rally the troops instead of demoralize the bees and cause their loyal workers to lose faith in them.
Sure people don’t quit over one rude incident, but when employers demonstrate through their actions that they care not, it usually doesn’t sit well with someone who has been working hard to earn the company’s respect while someone rude gets away with laziness and sloppy work.
I do agree with the article that companies can lose good people as a result of failing to address what they don’t see as systemic problems, but rather isolated personal incidents.
But what these numbers show is that these are not isolated incidents, and that they actually can affect more than just the victim of the rudeness. For instance, “Studies also show that people even perform worse when they just witness incivility and aren’t the target of it themselves.”
Often sloppy work doesn’t directly affect a colleague, but why then do we spend so much time grumbling over another’s misconduct if it just means that they’re wasting the company’s money? I do think it has something to do with wondering if your sense of pride, professionalism and integrity in your work is even valued if others get away with rudeness and laziness.
While I’ve experienced a lot of rudeness, both directly and indirectly, at my jobs, I’ve typically been able to get over that. Sometimes with more effort and gargantuan efforts by my friends (see Monday’s blog). What is worse, is in my opinion, is when I put in an honest effort, and yes, I do get recognition for my hard work, but then I see people slacking off and getting away with it…
So let’s get back to being positive… what do you think employers should do to maintain a professional and positive work environment? Also check this out for some tips on how to have a fulfilling career!
Please comment, share your thoughts and let me know what you think. Please help me keep this a positive forum, though. I am so excited for some debate, but let’s respect each other please. I reserve the right to monitor and delete inappropriate posts. Thanks in advance!