Defining Workplace Civility

Civility at workplace is the practice of addressing the root causes of incivility, understanding its behavioral indicators, learning the costs of incivility and the rewards of civility. It explains the importance and the overall impact of practicing workplace etiquette and political correctness.

You Demand, I Supply

Years ago, businesses used to run on the simple concept of You demand, I supply routine. The focus was more on the goods, in the sense that if somebody needed a product, he will first have to find someone who supplied it. It was immaterial, if the supplier was the most uncouth person imaginable. He always had a steady market, just because he supplied commodities that met demands of the people. This was the initial stage of marketing strategy that stressed only on commodity acquisition.

Market Competition and Customer Service

The conservative marketing strategy changed forever with growing competition. Although the existing business-owners tried their best to wipe the competition through various practices, they could still notice a gradual decline in the number of customers’ visiting them to purchase goods.

The interesting thing to note here is that even if the demand of products fell drastically for some business-owners, the demand of the commodities, in itself, saw no decline. In business terms, the relative demand fell, while the absolute demand remained the same. This brought the concept of customer service. The focus shifted from the goods to the customer. The people who provided good customer service prevailed whereas those who only believed in catering goods to the market couldn’t survive the changing business environment.

Customer services brought a change in outlook and this new thinking process tricked down gradually to the adequate treatment of employees too. In today’s world, providing customer-centric service is one of the most significant elements of successful business, closely followed by effective employee engagement.

So it came as an understandably rude shock to many when experts and industry observers singled out rudeness as one of the factors that costs industries millions every year. It forced the industry heads to introspect and realize that all the knowledge and technological advancement is coming at the cost of basic social values.

Market Competition and Customer Service

Maintaining Civility at Workplace

Maintaining civility at workplace is not rocket science. All employees get into their jobs after clearing an interview where their interpersonal skills are tested and evaluated, so they are already aware of how to be civil to co-workers. However, they have lost the skills to communicate and practice basic etiquette.

This loss in basic social etiquette has resulted in the creation of an unconducive workplace where bosses intrude upon their subordinates’ privacy, gossiping among employees and berating them is common, case of co-workers facing abuse and harassment in office crop up frequently.

Workplace Civility addresses key issues of handling difficult scenarios in workplace and also discusses practical ways of conflict resolution. Effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and active listening play a big role in the enhancing the civility of a workplace.