Episode 1 – Incivility

THE PROBLEM
Dave’s boss tells him that his department suffers an abnormally high rate of absenteeism – an indicator of workplace place stress due to inappropriate behaviour. She tells Dave it costs Australian businesses billions in lost productivity and he needs to work with Dr Cotton to find out why staff aren’t happy and to fix it.

In this episode, Dave learns that incivility isn’t about the American Civil War – it’s low intensity, inappropriate behaviour. You may not even recognise you’re being rude but it can be very hurtful to other people, it can build up over time and cause bigger problems. It’s important that managers set a positive example and lead change.

Dr Cotton’s top tips

To help promote civility in the workplace:

  • Say hello to workmates in the morning
  • Don’t be sarcastic or talk over people
  • Don’t type emails in capitals
  • Quickly correct incivility among co-workers

RATE YOUR WORKPLACE: INCIVILITY IN THE WORKPLACE CHECKLIST (PDF)

Further reading

The hidden toll of workplace incivility – Christine Porath, McKinsey Quarterly
http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/the-hidden-toll-of-workplace-incivility?cid=other-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1612
December 2016

Australian Public Service Commission – Creating a respectful workplace
http://www.apsc.gov.au/publications-and-media/current-publications/mental-health/a-respectful-workplace
24 July 2013