January 2, 2019
Many people get confused with the concept of “civility in the workplace” and how it ties to sexual harassment training for employees. They wonder what comprises civility and what the boundaries are. Beyond basic workplace harassment training, the following are actions and activities to avoid in order to keep the office environment civil.
Why It Matters
A civil workplace is one where every worker feels appreciated and the environment fosters growth and success. A work climate that lacks civility leads to internal strife, employee hostility, personnel problems and ultimately potential failure. Working to create an environment where everyone feels safe and appreciated as well as respected is key to succeeding in today’s workplace.
Uncivil Workplace Contributors
Obliviousness: Being aware of your surroundings at all times is good life advice, but applies more so in the workplace. Understanding the employee makeup and the corporate culture and respecting it whenever possible is key to ensuring your relationships in the office go smoothly. Trampling over traditions or ignoring expected behavior is a very quick way to define yourself as an “uncivil employee.”
Gossip: Engaging in gossip in the office (or otherwise) is never a good thing, rarely leads to good and just about every time comes back to haunt the people gossiping. Not discussing rumors and always insisting on a source for information before distributing anything is key to building trust among employees and avoiding uncomfortable office conditions. A good rule of thumb is that if there has been no formal announcement, there is no data to disseminate.
Abusive Language: Everyone has a moment when they lose their cool, especially if you work in an environment with any degree of stress. Abusive language does not just comprise swearing. Yelling at someone, swearing, passive-aggressive comments, etc. can all be construed as abusive. All should be avoided at all costs, especially if you manage any employees. In many states, including California, training on abusive conduct is required under the law.
Office Cliques: Cliques are common in high school. They should not be common in a professional environment, but all too often they are the root cause of strife among employees. While classroom or online harassment training cannot help an employee avoid dealing with cliques, it can help an employee recognize when one is being formed or becoming a problem.
Hostile Environments: A hostile environment can be anything that leaves a worker feeling like they are targeted, bullied or harassed. It can be an atmosphere where everyone is defensive and afraid of criticism, morale is through the floor, lewd behavior is pervasive or unprofessional behavior is tolerated or even rewarded. The only solution to this type of situation, short of removing individuals from the workplace, is extensive education, including classroom and online sexual harassment training, professional protocol training, diversity and professional behavior training.
If all it took to create an acceptable work environment was New York or California sexual harassment training, achieving an environment where everyone felt appreciated, safe and productive would be easy. Unfortunately, work environments can be hostile in many different ways. Monitor your work environment and if you feel there is a less than civil work environment, check out Impact Compliance Training today!