Does it matter in your workplace who the president of the U.S. is? In terms of whether your candidate won or not, or what executive orders are being rescinded or implemented, it might not. But that isn’t the issue. The issue is civility—or, more plainly, the lack of it—in our families, neighborhoods and workplaces.
Incivility between friends, neighbors, family members or colleagues leads to less kindness, less cooperation and less commitment among these groups. In particular, incivility means less of what our world needs more than ever today: trust and respect.
The state of workplace trust and engagement
People spend more time at work than they do with their family or friends, yet, even in less divisive political times, our workplaces are not fun places to be. Gallup’s daily engagement dashboard shows only 35 percent of U.S. workers are highly engaged. Tiny HR’s 2014 culture and engagement report found only 21 percent of employees feel strongly valued at work. That means 79 percent of employees do not feel strongly valued.
In my my GREAT Boss Assessment research, 45 percent of respondents said their current leaders inspire their best efforts each day—but 55 percent disagree. Thirty-seven percent said that their current boss does not let team issues fester—meaning 63 percent of leaders don’t address team issues.
These research studies do not present a pretty picture of workplace inspiration today. Add political polarization to this dynamic, along with demeaning and dismissive behavior from the highest leaders in the land, and the workplace could be a very uncivil environment to be in. When there is turmoil in society, it doesn’t take long for that turmoil to show itself in our workplaces. And, turmoil in the workplace can’t be ignored by leaders—or deeper incivility and lashing out will become the norm....
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