Workplace incivility; a menace for your company’s culture

‘’People may not remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.’’

With the digital paradigm rapidly evolving the work culture, marketplaces have surely become very demanding. One of the biggest curses of a rapidly evolving society is that many succumb to the constant pressure that the cutthroat competition brings. This tends to increase many folds when a coworker or reporting manager has uncivil behavior.

Workplace incivility puts the well-being of the employees at risk. It gradually destroys the company’s culture with even a single person in the office being uncivil.

So, what is workplace incivility?

In this article, we will discuss workplace incivility and how it is bad for a company’s culture.

Workplace incivility

Workplace incivility is deviant behavior that can take many forms including condescending remarks, disrespect towards other people’s work, putting people down while conversing, comparing employees with one another, making comments to harm a person’s self-confidence, and more.

The phenomenon has become increasingly common despite a drastic rise in workplace sensitivity training and the status quo’s shift towards making employees’ wellbeing a priority.

When a reporting manager or one’s boss leans toward incivility, its consequences can be felt by the entire organization.

Its consequences

If left unchecked, incivility can prove to be a menace to your company’s culture. Some of its most obvious consequences include the following:

Employees productivity decline

Condescending remarks like ‘a child could do this, this work is crap,’ etc. can play havoc with the listener’s head. Uttering disrespectful remarks to one’s employee or coworker crushes their self-confidence. Even when they are doing their most, not being recognized for their efforts and getting scolded instead leaves them demotivated. This may lead to professional burnout in many instances.

Due to a lack of motivation, the employee’s productivity declines. They are either not able to deliver on time or the quality of work gets affected. This can in turn lead to affecting the company’s performance in a core area. This only keeps the vicious circle going where the employee feels that nothing good can ever come out of their efforts even when they are doing their best.

Employee turnover rate increases

When employees constantly feel threatened by uncivil behavior be it by a coworker or a manager, their overall job satisfaction rate falls. It is not long before they start to think about leaving the job. When there is a person with uncivil behavior in power, they tend to not limit their behavior to a single employee.

Since it is how they have decided to function, it is inevitable that a number of employees will suffer at their hands. These employees will switch the moment they find a better opportunity as nobody likes working in an environment where their efforts are not appreciated. Incivility brings even the company’s most loyal and oldest employees on the verge of leaving.

The company’s overall culture suffers

When employees are unhappy, it is bound to affect the overall culture of the company. Unhappy employees tend to make unhappy coworkers. When these employees are part of any team, they are usually dispirited. Their overall productivity does not match with the rest of the team which can be frustrating for the other employees.

Other team members might have to cover up for them in order to meet the deadlines which can be fine for one time but not always. Such situations can affect the overall culture of the organization with some employees not motivated enough to fulfill their responsibilities. When a few employees have to overwork themselves to cover the gap, they in turn are left feeling demotivated after a while. This domino effect is very harmful to organizations where employees are closely knit with others for their job functions.

Only solution; intervention

The intervention seems the only solution for fixing a problem of this magnitude. If one person is causing disruption of this sort, they need to be confronted about their behavior. If your employees feel that there is a lack of appreciation, take it seriously. Let HR talk to them openly about it. Listen to their concerns and come up with effective policies before it is too late.


An intervention does not challenge your ability to run the company, instead, it gives you an opportunity to fix the problem from the grassroots level. It shows the employees that the company is genuinely invested in making the work environment supportive for them.

Better late than never, check up on your employees and make their well-being one of your core priorities.

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