The Contagion of Workplace Rudeness
An interesting new study sheds light on how the incivility of a single co-worker can quickly spread through the entire office.
If someone is rude to you, you’re not just going to snap back at them – you’re much more likely to be rude to the next person you interact with.
Now imagine a chain-reaction spreading through a large organization, all the way down to an unwitting customer!
The researchers also found that no matter how respectful and consciously well-meaning a person is, the rudeness effect still takes hold. That’s why culture is so important – it’s more than the sum of an organization’s parts.
Why civility is in a firm’s interest
Rudeness isn’t inevitable. It’s possible to change a workplace’s culture.
No one wants to go to work knowing they’ll have to put up with condescending remarks all day – so employee retention might hinge on how effectively rudeness is stamped-out. And it goes beyond retention: research suggests that belittled employees intentionally decrease their work quality, productivity, and might even take it out on customers.
So next time you’re about to snipe at a co-worker for being late, think about how it could ricochet through the office – and back to you.