CRS of Workplace Rudeness (Cost, Reason, and Solution)

December 19, 20191:55 pm1670 views
CRS of Workplace Rudeness (Cost, Reason, and Solution)
CRS of Workplace Rudeness (Cost, Reason, and Solution)

Workplace rudeness or incivility refers to atypical behaviours such as dictatorship, oppression, or abusive supervision with an intention to harm the target. For example, a dictator manager does something harmful to his subordinates in order to satisfy or benefit oneself. 

However, according to Pearson and Porath in “The Dark Side of Organisational Behaviour”, workplace rudeness is also linked with workplace injustice since both forms include perceptions of unfairness or mistreatment. Incivility can occur between any members of an organisation. In other words, rudeness is not always associated with top-down behaviour. It can occur from a superior to a subordinate, from subordinate to superior, or between peers.

See also: The Art of Influencing Employees’ Behaviour at Workplace

What are the costs of workplace rudeness? 

According to psychological study, employees who experience rudeness at the workplace tend to focus more on the unpleasant person or uncomfortable situation they are dealing with instead of concentrating on their job, which then hampers their performance. The same study also found that the perception of rudeness was associated with decreased progress toward goals, lower task performance, psychological withdrawal, and avoidance of interpersonal interactions. 

Another journal published at Online Library revealed similar negative outcomes of workplace incivility. The journal suggested that mistreatment and persistent low levels of rudeness such as being ignored or put down, particularly by someone in a position of power, can threaten employees’ sense of belonging. This type of isolation can bring problems like sleeplessness and headaches. In other words, mistreatment and rudeness do endanger employees’ welfare in the workplace. 

In a fine term, workplace rudeness tends to be subtle as a result of inappropriate behaviour that might fly under the radar and fall into borderline harassment. Hence, workplace rudeness can slowly eat away your company culture, reputation, and effectiveness that result in lost profit and performance.

Why does workplace incivility occur? 

Russell Johnson research revealed that workplace rudeness occurs as a result of pressure at the workplace. Studying 70 employees for 10 consecutive workdays, Johnson found that workplace rudeness is a result of job stress, depression, and dissatisfaction. When employees are mentally fatigued, it is more difficult for them to keep their negative impulses and emotions in check which leads to uncivil behaviour, added Johnson. 

How to handle workplace rudeness? 

For organisations that are concerned about the impact of incivility, there are some things that can be done as follows: 

  • Set expectations and adhere to the victim 

The first step in curtailing rudeness is for senior management to determine what they see as appropriate standards of conduct. In many organisations, expectations about rudeness are documented in the mission statement or employee policy manuals. By setting expectations policy about rudeness, organisations can precisely provide guidance for employees, as well as establishing a minimally acceptable type of behaviour against which transgressions can be measured. 

  • Recruit and select polite employees 

At the beginning of recruitment, when you bring in the right person, workplace problems can be minimised. Therefore, like any other change in organisational norms, it is extremely important to hire good-behaved people. Character and a good attitude are the two most important qualifications – while skills can be learnt. 

  • Embrace employees wellbeing 

As mentioned earlier, workplace rudeness can be a result of extreme fatigue and stress. That being said, employers should diligently reassess their wellness program in order to help employees get away from work fatigue and stress. Besides, investing in the wellness program will not only bring good welfare to employees, but it is also proven to significantly cut healthcare cost and increase a company’s ROI. 

  • Encourage and listen to feedback and take action as needed 

When a company strives to maintain civility, any violation must be dealt with swiftly. Some employees might displace stress or disappointment on their fellow workers as an exceptional occurrence. When this happens, leaders need to track organisational conditions or individual characteristics, including repeating negative behaviour, that affects the tendencies of these stakeholders to support the target during and after the rudeness happened. 

See also: HR Knowledge: Understanding The Root of Discrimination

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