Workplace Civility Recap

February 25, 2020 | News

How civil is your workplace? Your actions and attitude may be contributing to workplace incivility – without you even knowing!

On February 24, SafeCare BC’s Workplace Civility webinar took place. Presented by Dr. Heather Cooke, Rhonda Croft, and Trish Giesbrecht, this webinar discussed the importance of civility in the workplace, and strategies that both employers and staff can use to create a better work environment.

Workplace incivility is characterized by the ambiguous intent to harm. Actions such as gossiping, ignoring or excluding co-workers, or not passing on key information can all contribute towards a feeling of workplace incivility. These actions may not be directed at anyone or even intended to cause harm, yet they can still lead to others feeling disrespected.

The presenters found that workplace incivility happens far more frequently in long term care homes than workplace bullying – which is defined as inappropriate conduct that a person ought to know would have caused harm

The impact of incivility can be just as bad as bullying. Thankfully, the presenters have some tips on how to deal with it.

Incivility must first be acknowledged before any action can be taken.

Conversations about incivility can be difficult to have, particularly when you feel as if you have been the victim. When addressing someone, you can start with a question. By asking, “can I talk to you about how I feel?” or stating “I’m not sure you intended to do this but…” a conversation can be started without accusations getting in the way. Often times, it is found that the perceived incivility is caused by miscommunication. It is important to stick to the facts of the situation and not let emotions get in the way.

A culture of civility can be established by taking the right steps. Simply greeting and acknowledging each other and treating others with respect can be enough to start fostering a friendlier environment. One tip is to start your mornings with “psychological check-ins.” Before a shift starts, get in the habit of asking your co-workers how they are feeling. Small steps can go a long way to becoming a more approachable person.

Finally, reflect on who you are and who you want to be. Take care of yourself – make sure you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising, and having fun. Have the same safety-sense towards psychological health that you have when performing a lift. Be your best civil self.