9-Incivility in the Workplace

From Road Rage
To Desk Rage
Incivility in the Workplace
John Fuller, Ed.D.
Office of Workforce Diversity
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Workplace Dynamics
Thinking Style
When you left for work this morning, what did you
leave behind?
Your opinions?
Your background?
Your generation?
Your native language?
Your doubts?
Your children?
Your secrets?
Your real hairstyle?
Your race?
Your politics?
Your ethnicity?
Your gender?
Your sexual orientation?
Your personality?
Your uniqueness?
Your ideas?
Positive Dynamic or Perfect Storm?
Current Headlines
 Fearing Long Recession, Employers Halt Hiring
 Foreclosures Increasing; Housing Bottom Not in Sight
 Politics Can Chill Water Cooler Chatter
 Workplace survey by Vault Politics 46% had witnessed a
political argument between co-workers
 Job Losses Accelerate Signaling Deeper Distress
 Harris Interactive Poll indicates that 7 out of 10 area
residents say jobs and money are significant sources of
stress exceeding the national average
How Does It Make You Feel?
 Commuting to work and someone cuts you off nearly
causing you an accident? What if it was a coworker
who did this to you?
 Seeing others talking on the phone while driving and
not paying attention? In the fast lane?
 Weaving in and out of traffic like stunt drivers?
 Riding behind someone with a political bumper
sticker? In the fast lane going 55 in a 55 mph zone in
front of you?
 Late because of an accident backing up traffic.
 Gas Prices/Current Financial Crises/your 401/402?
Minding Your Metro Manners
Ridership Has Grown
 Keep your music to yourself. Personal music players;
keep volume so others cannot hear
 Cell phone conversation – no one wants to hear your
medical ailments or other personal information
 Keep your germs to yourself
 Be mindful of fellow riders’ private space
 Watch your body parts while standing or sitting
 No food and please take baths before boarding!
Reuters Report on Desk Rage
50% of all workers reportAugust
yelling and 2008
verbal abuse on the job with
25% stating being driven to tears.
 2-3 percent admit hitting, pushing, or slapping someone at work.
 100 million in the workforce that amounts to as many as 3 million
 One sixth of US Workers reported anger at work has led to
property damage and a tenth reported physical violence at the
workplace fearing for safety.
 Contemporary pressures such as rising fuel costs fan the flames.
 People coming to work after a long commute sitting in traffic,
watching their discretionary income burn up.
 They are already for a fight or just really upset.
Derailing Behaviors
Definition: Tiny damaging discriminatory action or
comment which normally one cannot do anything
about. Yet they are incredibly damaging
Carry A Powerful Impact
Doesn’t Matter What Message You Send
Only the Message That Was Received!
Examining Costs of
Employee Turnover Due to Derailing Behaviors
 Administrative including time spent copying documents,
scheduling appointments, coordinating with hiring
 Interview Related including reference checks, emails,
mailings, postage, resume screening, criminal/credit
checks, medical exams, drug tests, orientation materials
and presentations.
 Outgoing Employee including paid accrued vacation,
separation bay, continued benefits, processing benefits,
payroll processing, unemployment compensation………
Employee Dignity Entitlements
 Receive recognition in proportion to their contribution.
 Are treated as unique individuals –not stereotyped.
 Receive fair coaching and feedback to enhance their
skills and are clear about what is expected.
 Receive negative feedback in private in a manner that
exhibits respect.
 Receive a hearing about any concern or opportunity they
want to bring to the attention of the organization.
 Receive a fair opportunity to compete for jobs when
Derailing Behaviors
You Think YOUR Boss is Bad?
 People not being told what is expected of them, then
chastised for failing to perform.
 People being promoted to appease them.
 People being intentionally ignored as a way to belittle
 People being left out of the loop in important
information, intentionally to hurt their performance.
 People deserving promotions being overlooked to
punish them.
“People Join Companies – But they leave Managers”
Gallup Quote
Incivility is evidenced by disrespectful behavior. It
undermines the dignity and self-esteem of employees,
creating unnecessary suffering.
28% lost work time avoiding the instigator of the incivility
53% lost time worrying about the incident/future
37% believe their commitment at work declined
22% have decreased their effort at work
10% decreased the amount of time that they spent at work
12% actually changed jobs to avoid the instigator
Acts of Incivility by Management
 Manager who never recognizes the
contributions/achievements of staff – instead pounces
on every mistake. “Nitpicking”
 Manager meetings with staff members that often
begin with “Do you mean to tell me…” or saying “Off
the record”
 No Developmental Assignments
 No Constructive Feedback or Mentoring
 Limited Expectations
 Not evaluated fairly based on performance, rather on
personality style, professional background, age, race,
gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
Informal Survey Results from
MIT Study
 56% reported Rude intentional disregard of a person’s presence
and intentional actions that embarrass or devalue
 53% reported Blatantly rude/Lack of manners or common
 32% Reported Repeated unjustified criticism designed to
 34% reported Confrontational “in your face” demeanor.
 62% reported Back-Stabbing – Unfairly criticizing behind their
backs for personal gain.
Workplace Bullying
Inappropriate interpersonal behaviors workers are subject to through their employment
 Persistent unjustified criticism
 Public humiliation
 Threats to professional standing
 Scrutiny of work
 Unfair allegations of incompetence
 Can be verbal or horizontal (other colleagues)
 Stalking and intrusion; can lead to physical
Who Does the Bullying?
Men and women bully and are bullied
Women bullies target women 84% of the time
Men bullies target women 69% of the time
Women are more likely to report bullying
About 1 in 100 who experience egregious bullying either
attempts or succeeds to commit suicide
 Most people who are bullied report damage to their health
 Overwhelming majority of bullies are repeat offenders
 Bullying is responsible for 1 resignation in 4
Who Actually Commits Work Related
Acts of Incivility or Bullying?
Did you know….
 Job discrimination complaints rose 9% in Fiscal Year 2007 to
nearly 88,000.
 The EEOC collected over $345 million in settlements in FY
 18% of all Federal Sexual Harassment federal charges
nationwide were filed by men in 2007
 “Offensive” is in the eye of the beholder or the recipient of
the behavior. If you make comments that you feel are not
offensive and the recipient says they are…..then they are!
 An estimated 71 percent of the workforce has experienced
some form of workplace incivility in the past five years.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Incivilities and Behaviors
Email, I-Phone, Internet Reality, pager messages, sexual objects,
letters, phone calls, inappropriate sites displayed on computer,
discussing sexual escapades or television explicit ads……
Unwanted touching, hugging, jokes, pinching,…leering, etc.
Comments: “Hey Baby give me a smile,’ “You look like you are
ready for bed in those hospital greens – I am ready for bed too”
Unacceptable Music: - “ Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”
“It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”
Unwelcome and persistent requests for dates or sexual advances.
Hostile Working Environment
 Must be sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an abusive
work environment.
 Does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially
acceptable nature.
 It can be based on martial status, pregnancy, race, color,
ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual
orientation or identity, personal appearance, veteran status or
any other legally protected characteristic.
 It does refer to behavior that is not welcome, which is personally
offensive, that debilitates morale, and which interferes with
work effectiveness.
Who Should Help Stop
Workplace Incivilities?
The Source of the Behavior
- Stop the Harassing Behavior
The Target of the Behavior
-Tell the source to stop and/or report the behavior
Express your feelings – Say it is unwelcome
Any Observer of the Behavior
-No such thing as an innocent bystander.
Any Person in Authority
-A Duty Exists
Cashing in on Generational Diversity
From Culture Clash to Valuable Business Asset
Y Text Speak
 Thx for the Iview! I Wud
to Work 4 U!! ;)
1 out of every 10 thank you emails contain smiley
faces sent to hiring managers.
It is natural communication for this generation but
probably not for X or Baby Boomers!
Four Generations At Work
 Traditionalists (born 1922-1943)
 Baby Boomers (born 1943-1960)
 Generation X
(born 1960-1980)
 Millenials (born 1980-2000)
Generations at Work
 The events and conditions each of us experience
during our formative years help define who we are and
how we view the world.
 The generation we grow up in is just one of the
influences on adult behavior.
 Hard work
 Optimism
 Dedication & sacrifice
 Team orientation
 Respect for rules
 Personal gratification
 Duty before pleasure
 Involvement
 Honor
 Personal growth
 Diversity
 Optimistic
 Techno literacy
 Feel civic duty
 Fun and informality
 Confident
 Self-reliance
 Achievement oriented
 Pragmatism (Common
 Respect for diversity
Generational Feedback
 Traditionalists – “No news is good news.”
 Boomers – “Feedback once a year and lots of
 Xers – “Sorry to interrupt but how am I doing?”
 Millenials – “Feedback whenever I want it at the push
of a button.”
Generational Interaction: An Example
Traditionalists and Boomers
may have a tendency not to
question or challenge
authority or the status quo.
This may cause confusion
and resentment among the
Xers and Millenials who
have been taught to speak
All Employees Remember This
We all report to someone. Experts say it is good to
remember that today’s managers have a lot of
responsibilities; increasing revenue, keeping
customers, i.e., patients or students happy, managing a
diverse workforce that comprises four generations of
people who are motivated and fulfilled differently
based upon their culture. A little empathy for the boss
can’t hurt.
Maybe, just maybe the problem may be you!

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