Incivility has consequences. We are becoming more sensitive to the problem of bullying, but incivility is also a problem
A 2010 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey shows that even “lower-level” disruptive behaviors in the workplace—the type of behavior that doesn’t quite reach the level of bullying or harassment—create a wide range of spillover effects. Of those who have faced incivility at work:
- 48 percent intentionally decreased work effort.
- 47 percent intentionally decreased time at work.
- 38 percent intentionally decreased work quality.
- 80 percent lost work time worrying about the incident.
- 63 percent lost work time avoiding the offender.
- 66 percent said their performance declined.
- 78 percent said their commitment to the organization declined.
Disruptive employee behaviors can create negative work environments and unhealthy consequences for employees. We know that employees who experienced bullying, incivility or interpersonal conflict were more likely to quit their jobs, have lower well-being, be less satisfied with their jobs and have less satisfying relationships with their bosses than employees who were sexually harassed. Furthermore, bullied employees reported more job stress, less job commitment and higher levels of anger and anxiety.
Employers should take proactive steps to prevent workplace bullying and incivility, including company wide education, policy, complaint procedures, and swift investigation of complains. Remember, organizations where employees respect each other do not have problems of incivility and bullying.