- One in 4 adults in the U.S. have experienced rudeness from their co-workers, new data from meQuilibrium suggests. In a March 30 report, about 24% of workers surveyed reported having their judgment questioned at work, and about 26% reported being ignored by co-workers.
- The research firm surveyed 5,483 employees. Brad Smith, meQuilibrium’s chief science officer, underscored that workplace incivility doesn’t just hurt a company’s reputation, but “erodes trust” between direct reports and managers.
- A smaller number of workers reported experiencing more severe uncivil treatment, including “angry outbursts,” cursing and yelling from co-workers.
Workplace incivility increasingly appears to be an issue in today’s society — at a time when workers are continuing to engage in discourse around best practices for peaceful, nurturing workplaces.
For example, in late 2021, 59% of survey-takers told Korn Ferry that their co-workers were ruder compared to pre-pandemic interactions; most respondents cited remote work as a driving factor.
The same appears to be true for patrons, too: Axonify, an L&D company for front-line workers, reported in November 2022 that customer hostility is at “an all-time high.”
“When employees are subjected to rude, disrespectful or aggressive behavior in the workplace, it can lead to decreased job satisfaction, increased stress and decreased productivity,” Smith said in the March 30 press release. This kind of environment leads to “higher rates of absenteeism” as well as more attrition overall.
Psychological safety continues to be a key motif in HR Dive’s reporting on employee experience. A March 23 report from Oyster suggests that 84% of workers consider psychological safety one of the top-valued aspects of their workplace.
What can managers do to improve employee engagement? Be more attentive, meQuilibrium researchers said, adding that “well-supported” employees are less likely to struggle with somatic stress, less likely to face “a hard time getting motivated in the morning,” and have a 58% lower risk of burning out.
Researchers also reaffirmed a link between quiet quitting and burnout through their findings; meQuilibrium researchers noted that younger workers reported higher levels of stress-impaired productivity and were also more likely to endorse quiet quitting.