Workplace Incivility vs. Workplace Misconduct

In today’s fast-paced and competitive work environment, organizations face various challenges that can adversely impact their success and well-being. Among these challenges are workplace incivility and workplace misconduct, both of which can significantly damage an organization, its employees, and overall productivity.

Incivility has become a rising issue in the workplace, so in this blog we will define workplace incivility and misconduct, explore the fundamental differences between the two, shed light on their impact in the workplace, and offer solutions employers can implement to mitigate these issues.  

Defining Workplace Incivility and Misconduct: Workplace Incivility is a prevalent type of mistreatment in which behaviors like gossiping, passive-aggressive conduct, and excessive micromanagement undermine an organization’s culture, fostering toxic environments. The effect is this can lead to diminished job satisfaction, decreased productivity, and heightened employee turnover. On the other hand, workplace misconduct involves behaviors such as bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment. Whether it manifests as a small rude remark or deep-rooted harmful actions, both workplace incivility and misconduct can have the potential to cause significant harm to employers and their workforce.

  1. Prevalence: More than 50% of employees encounter workplace incivility on a weekly basis, while a staggering 75% of employees have either witnessed or experienced workplace misconduct, making these issues highly relevant to any organization. This problem permeates throughout the entire workplace, with Forbes reporting that American businesses dedicate an astonishing 13% of their time  to tackling the explosive consequences of workplace incivility.
  2. The Impact on Organizations: The significance of addressing even minor office comments or harmful actions cannot be overstated, as such incidents, if not effectively managed, can escalate quickly into larger issues. Workplace incivility and misconduct can inflict lasting damage on an organization’s reputation, employee retention, financial health, and above all, trust with its employees. Leaders bear the responsibility to define acceptable behavior, making it clear that condescending remarks, humor at a colleague’s expense, social exclusion, or other forms of incivility are entirely unacceptable.
  3. Mitigating Workplace Incivility and Misconduct: To protect an organization’s reputation and the psychological well-being of its employees, it’s crucial to establish (and adhere to) clear policies against incivility and misconduct. Regular training focusing on workplace behavior, sensitivity and respectful communication can help prevent negative behaviors. Equally vital is cultivating an inclusive, supportive environment where employees’ concerns are taken seriously. However, the most effective way to do more than training or managing workplace incivility and misconduct incidents is to utilize an unbiased and efficient misconduct solution to mitigate future occurrences and the risks associated with such incidents. Work Shield provides a safe and secure reporting platform for employees to report workplace misconduct, and they can feel confident knowing that incidents will be taken seriously and handled effectively. By utilizing Work Shield’s platform, organizations and their employees can be assured that each investigated incident will receive equal respect, care, and attention, a thorough and unbiased investigation, and ultimately a fair and just resolution. Additionally, this proactive solution plays a significant role in curbing incivility and misconduct, creating a healthier and more harmonious working environment where employees can thrive.

Workplace incivility and misconduct can cause significant harm to both organizations and their employees. At Work Shield, we are dedicated to offering an unbiased and efficient solution to mitigate and reduce future instances of such behavior. By taking prompt action, conducting regular training on workplace civility, implementing clear policies, and providing an unbiased, efficient misconduct solution, employers can create a workplace environment where toxicity has no place, all while promoting  a healthier work culture.

Learn more about Work Shield’s incident management solution here. 

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