Incivility in the Workplace
- Word count: 1827
- Category: Workplace
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Workplace incivility can be said to be the disrespectful or rude behavior that shows no concern of the other employees. Workplace incivility can be intentional or obvious. Although the behavior might be obvious it is usually hidden, be hindsight or subtle. Some of the practiced workplace incivility may be perceived minor, but the consequences out of them are more serious. For example, in a workplace, if the senior boss invites some staff members for a meeting that required every body to attend, it may lead to a burden of stress to the uninvited staff members. Another case that can be used to demonstrate the seriousness of small indignities at workplace can be that of changing the room temperature without consulting the other people in the room. Some examples of workplace incivility include the following: asking opinions and input but ignore them, hindering some information that the rest may require to do their job, causing interruption to others without showing any concern, fail to listen to others ideas but you command your ideas to listened carefully, destroying workplace equipment without the consultation of others and even not informing them after the destruction of the equipment, and showing concern to only your own wants and need, among many others (Estlund, 2003, 112).
Workplace incivility has been found to have serious effects in many organizations. Therefore it is important to discus briefly some of the workplace incivility effects before we look at the means and way out to fight the workplace incivility. First and for most, workplace incivility reduces the morale of the workers. In this case the workers feel less regarded in most of their duties and thus have less motivation or interest to perform their duties effectively. In the process the productivity in the organization goes down. Team working spirit is lost among the workers, making the work not enjoyable. Lawsuit cases in the organization which can either be internal or external goes up, reducing the days that an employee should be at work (Peyton, 2003, 75).
It is out of the above that necessitates many firms and organization to come up with better and effective means to fight the incivility in the workplace. Some of the measure that can be applied to solve this problem lies on the individual. Therefore for the individual to encounter of fight workplace incivility must put the following into consideration. First, the individual should monitor carefully his or her behavior. At the place of work the individual should constantly keep watch and be aware of his or her actions. He or she should check some behavioral tendencies which include the following. One, the person should avoid taking out his or her moods or frustrations on the other people at the workplace. Most people at the places of their work when frustrated over their own personal issues tend to extend the frustration to other staff members. This should be much avoided as it can cause serious effect to the organization.
Two, in monitoring oneself behavior, an individual should learn how he or she can reduce stress. Stress management is necessary at the workplace and thus should be practice, as it will help the workers have their stress reduced and get solutions to the issues causing the stress. Three, an individual should avoid behaviors that may affect the other staff members adversely. The individual should learn from the rest some of things which when done to others makes them unhappy. This will actually reduces to a greater extend workplace incivility which may result due to workers behavior at the place of their work. Four, the individual should avoid being aggressive every moment at the work place, but instead learn on how to be assertive. Five, the individual should learn the required and the necessary skills of communication while at the workplace. These skills that the individual need to learn includes the: listening, verbal and nonverbal skills. Last and not the least, the individual should practice on how to be responsible of his or herself, and be in position to account for any action he or she does at the place of the work (Lord, 2002, 127).
Secondly, to fight workplace incivility individual should be very slow in taking offenses. In other words this is to say that, people need to develop thicker skin. Some individual go looking for opportunities where their enemies have wronged them so as to fight them back. This kind of behavior causes a lot of disharmony in organizations. If any individual feel that he or she can not control him or herself in the organization, it is advisable for the organization to do away with such kind of person. Counseling centers in organizations should be established to assist those workers who are not in position to control their temper at the place of work (Lord, 2002, 128).
Third, individuals at the place of work should appreciate diversity. Different people have diversified characters and behavior. Also people are talented differently in different fields, and therefore we should appreciate their diversity and understand that such diversity plays a vital role in the being of every one, instead of being jealous of them. At the place of work we should appreciate and acknowledge the uniqueness and the charm of the other people as a way of fighting workplace incivility. In any organization we need to understand that diversity plays a vital role in team work, and thus we have to accept the existence of diversity among us. Therefore team performance will only be improved if the aspect of diversity among the individual is put into consideration and not ignored. One way in which a firm or an organization can express its acceptance of diversity is by incorporating all the diversified ideas from its workers without regarding one of them to be weaker than any other. They should all be taken with the same weight and vital in contributing towards the growth of the firm or the organization. In doing this the firm will encourage creativity among the workers, and in the long run the firm will be more competitive in the market as a result of the new ideas floated by the employees (Tehrani, 2001, 48).
Fourth, to fight against the workplace incivility, the role of communication at the workplace should be emphasized in the organization. The following communication needs are significant and they have to be practiced in any organization if incivility at the place of work has to be eliminated. One, people when arguing over or tackling issues should ensure that they do not disagree among themselves but disagree over the issues concerning the organization or the firm. This is to mean that even after disagreeing with somebody over an issue it is not necessary and good to wrong him or her. It is the issue that should be kept on the focus and not the individual at the place of work. Two, it is good for one to let the other person know if he or she has understood him or her well. It is very important that understanding be communicated within and among the organization and the employees respectively. This ensures smooth coordination and progress of the organizational tasks at hand. Three, it is vital for individuals to practice the virtue of telling the truth to each other at workplace (Tehrani, 2001, 50).
Humane consideration should be kept in mind as it will help in fostering the civility at the place of work. This is also a professional way of bringing in civility among the employees. Four, individuals should be keen in reacting back to the initiative ideas of the others at workplace. It will be good for a person at any organization to see first the honorable intention of his or her colleague before reacting back to the intention. This is very necessary for the communication at the place of work as the person who had the intention to initiate a particular project or idea to the firm does not feel humiliated. Therefore in an organization it is imperative to come up with clear understanding of the other staff members initiated tasks before responding. Five, individuals at place of work should appreciate and acknowledge the positive things that the colleagues introduce to the working environment and event to the organization itself. It rewards to recognize and appreciate the capability, talents and potential of the co-workers. The appreciation and the recognition of individual at work place motivates them and increases their morale to work, which results into invention of more ideas which are useful to the organization and the firm. The other workers can benefit from ones idea by enjoying the benefits which accompany the new idea brought into the organization (Estlund, 2003, 115).
Fifth, to fight incivility at workplace it is very vital to adopt the following principles. One, an individual should learn and adopt the diplomatic way of solving issues that arise at the place of work. The individual will be seen more civilized and therefore will involved in solving many issues that affect the organization. Two, individual should learn how to do things at discretion. Three, individual at place of work should practice respect as this will on return make him or her be respected by the other individuals at the workplace. Four, one should be accountable for everything he or she does for the organization and the co-workers. Last, the individual should practice the principle of decorum. All the four principles if practiced in an organization they will ensure civility automatically. They should be exhibited by the organization top management so as to make the other personnel copy the same from the seniors.
The top management can have these principles adopted in the organization by practicing the following. One, for the interpersonal behavior, they need to establish clear expectations throughout the organization. Two, in the process of giving out duties to the employees, they need to ensure that better communication skills are used. Three, they should ensure that civilized and good behavior among the employees is acknowledged and at the same time address the interpersonal skills. Four, it is important for supervisors and the managers to take their time and review how they normally treat their personnel at the workplace (Cooper, 2002, 97).
Cooper Cary. Bullying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace: International Perspective in Research and Practice. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 97
Estlund Cynthia. Working Together: How Workplace Bonds Strengthen a Diverse Democracy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 112, 115
Lord Robert. Emotions in the Workplace: Understanding the Structure and Role of Emotions in Organization Behavior. Mahwah NJ. Praeger, 2002, pp. 127, 128
Peyton Pauline. Dignity at Work: Eliminate Bullying and Create a Positive Working Environment. London, Routledge, 2003, pp. 75
Tehrani Noreen. Building a Culture of Respect: Managing Bullying at Work. London, Routledge, 2001, pp. 48, 50