Respectful Workplace Culture for Civility Month!

by Aug 2, 2023

Did you happen to know that August is National Civility Month? It’s a pretty big deal, especially considering how much we need civility in our lives right now. In this fast-paced world we live in, where opinions clash and tensions run high, creating a workplace that values respect is absolutely crucial.

Believe it or not, but studies have shown that incivility has been on the rise for the past couple of decades. And here’s the kicker: being rude or disrespectful can actually rub off on others like a bad cold, spreading negativity among colleagues. And you know what that means? It’s a massive drain on productivity and can cost employers a whopping $14,000 per employee in lost work time and reduced output. Ouch!

National Civility Month presents a great opportunity for HR professionals and leaders to come together and rally their teams around the principles of kindness, empathy, and understanding. By embracing this month-long celebration, you have the power to make a positive impact in your organization and contribute to a more harmonious and productive work environment. Keep in mind that being civil shouldn’t be limited to just this month. It should be a priority that extends far beyond these 30 days.


Why is civility so crucial in the workplace? 

Beyond promoting a pleasant atmosphere, a respectful workplace culture has far-reaching benefits that directly impact employee well-being and organizational success. 


1) Enhanced Mental Health and Well-being

Civility isn’t just about surface-level politeness; it has a profound impact on employee mental health. When people are consistently treated with respect, they experience lower levels of stress and anxiety. 

Now, take some time to review our short little assessment: Does your organization foster a culture of respect and inclusivity?  Pay attention to the number of “no” answers you give, because the more “no’s” you have, the more likely it is that your mental health and well-being initiatives are falling short. And you know what that means? It means your employees might be experiencing burnout due to the culture within your workplace. That’s not good for anyone.


2) Increased Retention of Top Talent

If you want your organization to thrive, it’s absolutely vital to attract and retain talented employees. And one of the best ways to do that is by fostering a workplace culture that exudes respect. You see, top performers are drawn to environments where their contributions are valued and where they have opportunities to grow and excel!


Creating a respectful workplace culture

Now that we understand the importance of civility in the workplace, let’s explore some practical strategies to celebrate National Civility Month and cultivate a respectful culture.


1) Train and Educate

Offer training sessions on topics such as effective communication, conflict resolution, DEIB, and managing stress. Equip your employees with the necessary skills to navigate challenging conversations and embrace differences respectfully. You can check out some of our training topics here, though we offer more!

If you’re not quite sure which training sessions to offer, no need to fret! We’ve got you covered. As culture experts, we can conduct climate assessments within your workforce to gain deeper insights into the sentiments and needs of your organization. This assessment will help us understand the specific issues at play, enabling us to work hand-in-hand with you to address them effectively.

In addition, attend our free webinar on “Dealing with Toxic People at Work.” Sign up here and join us!


2) Lead by Example

As leaders within your organization, you hold a tremendous amount of influence over the workplace environment. Your behavior serves as a guiding light for others to follow. It’s crucial that you consistently exhibit respectful conduct in all your interactions, ensuring that your actions align with the values you seek to promote. 

Why is this so important? Well, when you demonstrate civility in your everyday interactions, it has a powerful ripple effect throughout the organization. It becomes a cultural norm—a standard of conduct that permeates the entire workplace.


3) Recognize and Celebrate Acts of Civility

Create a culture of appreciation by recognizing and celebrating acts of civility in the workplace. Here are some ways you can do it:

  • Establish reward systems that shine a spotlight on individuals who consistently demonstrate respect, empathy, and kindness. 
  • Publicly acknowledging and honoring these behaviors.
  • Reinforce their value and inspire others to embody them as well.

Now that you’ve got these tips, are you ready to make workplace civility a way of life for your company and employees during National Civility Month? Look no further than Civility Partners! We’ve got the perfect expertise to help you create a respectful organizational culture. Get in touch with us, and let’s make this National Civility Month truly impactful.

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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