Creating a culture of civility: What you need to know
Conflict is inevitable when human interaction is involved. Personalities can be at odds and tempers flare. Sometimes people aren’t on their best behavior. Left unchecked, this can be a recipe for disaster in any organization, large or small. At Dana Ball Legal Services, we see how bad situations can quickly turn to worse when workplace cultures are flawed.
A proactive approach
So how then can you enjoy a workplace that’s both functional and productive? Workplace legal requirements set the basic and minimum standards, but employers can do more to create an inclusive workplace through a proactive approach.
Civility is the answer. Civility requires positive gestures of respect, courtesy or kindness that elevate morale and employee satisfaction. This environment in turn increases performance and creativity. Teams function better and the bottom line is positively impacted.
Translate values into action
To foster civility, experts suggest taking the following actions:
• Hire people who conduct themselves with civility. (You can do this by asking the right questions in interviews.)
• Exhibit and reward the behavior you want to see. Immediately address and issues before the repercussions compound.
• Conduct exit interviews to find out why people are moving on.
• Coach personnel on how to be civil and respectful of others. Help them to see it as an advantage to the organization’s health.
• Hold people accountable, regardless of their level or seniority in the organization.
Consider the big picture
Building a civil culture means leaders must think beyond quick fixes. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. Moreover, the sea change must begin at the top. Senior management must be on board with the vision and it should be evident in their interactions. Otherwise efforts will seem like only lip service and the organization’s morale will no doubt suffer.
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We want to give you practical advice that you can use right away in your day-to-day operations to avoid a full-blown lawsuit. Get in touch with us for more details on exactly how. You can also subscribe to Dana Ball Legal Services for live broadcasts on practical legal insights.