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Study Tracks Incivility in the Workplace

According to a 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review,

Rudeness at work is rampant, and it's on the rise. Over the past 14 years we've polled thousands of workers about how they're treated on the job, and 98 percent have reported experiencing uncivil behavior. In 2011 half said they were treated rudely [at work] at least once a week. [That's a 100 percent increase from 1998.]

Through a poll of 800 managers and employees they also discovered the costs of incivility. Among workers who have been on the receiving end of incivility:

  • 48 percent decreased their work effort
  • 47 percent decreased the time spent at work
  • 80 percent lost work worrying about the incident
  • 78 percent said their commitment to the organization declined
  • 12 percent said they left their job because of the uncivil treatment

The article concluded with the following warning about incivility: "Just one habitually offensive employee critically positioned in your organization can cost you dearly in lost employees, lost customers, and lost productivity."

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