General Information on Incivility

(1)     93% of Americans identify incivility as a problem – 68% consider it a major problem. This has remained relatively unchanged since 2010.

(2)     Among Americans who have experienced incivility, they report receiving 10.2 incivilities per week. Slightly more than 50% in-person, and the remaining portion in online/digital interactions.

(3)     Top 10 Consequences of Incivility (plus % of agreement):

                                      •   Online bullying/cyberbullying  –  89%

                                      •   Harassment (verbal, physical, sexual)  –  88%

                                      •   Violent behavior  –  88%

                                      •   Hate crimes  –  88%

                                      •  Intimidation and threats  –  87%

                                      •   Intolerance  –  87%

                                      •   People feeling less safe  –  87%

                                      •   Discrimination and unfair treatment of certain groups of people  –  84%

                                      •   Less community engagement  –  79%

                                      •   Feelings of isolation and loneliness  –  78%

(4)    A comprehensive study, coordinated through 4 major U.S. universities demonstrated that women in agentic business roles experienced incivility from other women at a far greater rate than they did from men. 

The recipients of female-on-female incivility noted a variety of problematic outcomes, such as lower feelings of job satisfaction, which then correlate with reduced performance, the likelihood of turnover, and lower feelings of vitality and thriving.

(5)     When asking Americans what they would do, in their part to improve civility, they responded with these top 5 answers:

                                      •   Parents teaching civility to their children  –  55%

                                      •   Warning or taking disciplinary action against people who are uncivil in the workplace  –  42%

                                      •   Civility education in schools and colleges  –  42%

                                      •   Civility training in the workplace  –   37%

                                      •   Employers training people how to intervene when others are behaving uncivilly  –  35%

Civility in the Workplace

(6)     In a poll of eight hundred managers & employees across seventeen industries, among workers who have been on the receiving end of incivility:

                                      •   48 percent intentionally decreased their work effort 

                                      •   47 percent intentionally decreased the time spent at work

                                      •   38 percent intentionally decreased the quality of their work

                                      •   80 percent lost work time worrying about the incident

                                      •   63 percent lost work time avoiding the offender

                                      •   66 percent said their performance declined

                                      •   78 percent said their commitment to the organization declined

                                      •   12 percent said they had left their job because of the uncivil treatment

                                      •   25 percent admitted to taking their frustration out on customers

(7)    Workplace incivility has doubled over the past two decades and has an average annual impact on companies of $14,000 per employee due to loss of production and work time.

(8)     A study conducted by Accountemps and reported in Fortune, managers and executives of Fortune 1000 firms spend 13 percent of their time at work—the equivalent of seven weeks a year—mending employee relationships and dealing with the aftermath of incivility.

(9)    Despite older adults’ advantageous coping strategies, workplace incivility undermines their well-being outside of work over time. Specifically, incivility negatively related to older employees’ affective well-being, which longer-term, took a toll on their life satisfaction, health, and work

(10)     One of the most important ways civility enhances a team’s performance is by increasing the amount of “psychological safety” people feel—the feeling that the team environment is a trusting, respectful, and safe place to take risks.

Studying more than 180 of its active teams, Google found that who was on a team mattered less than how team members interacted, structured their work, and viewed their contributions. Employees on teams with more psychological safety were more likely to make use of their teammates’ ideas and less likely to leave Google. They generated more revenue for the company and were rated as “effective” twice as often by executives.

(11)    The American Psychological Association estimates that workplace stress costs the US economy $500 billion a year

A stunning 550 billion workdays are lost each year due to stress on the job, 60 to 80 percent of workplace accidents occur because of stress, and more than 80 percent of doctor visits are stress related.  

Civility in Healthcare

(12)     Stress and the acuity of patients, along with staffing issues and burnout in clinical areas that provide critical care, result in higher incidences of incivility. 

(13)     In a recent survey of 3765 registered nurses, almost half of respondents had been bullied in some way, either by a peer (50%) or by someone with authority over them (42%).

(14)     Incivility, bullying, and workplace violence result in decreased job satisfaction, reduced organizational commitment, and decreased personal health, as well as additional direct and indirect costs to employers and RNs, according to the statement. One study calculated lost productivity related to workplace incivility at $11,581 per nurse annually.

(15)     Workplace incivility has been linked to decreased mental health (depression, anxiety)

(Hansen et al., 2006; Tepper, 2000), patient safety (Felblinger, 2008), organizational commitment and turnover intentions (Leiter, Laschinger, Day, & Gilin Oore, 2011), increased job stress (Agervold & Mikkelsen, 2004), somatic symptoms (LeBlanc & Kelloway, 2002), and emotional exhaustion (Grandey, Kern, & Frone, 2007).

(16)    39% of nurse graduates in their first year of practice witnessed bullying (Laschinger), and 31% experienced bullying (Laschinger & Grau)

(Hansen et al., 2006; Tepper, 2000), patient safety (Felblinger, 2008), organizational commitment and turnover intentions (Leiter, Laschinger, Day, & Gilin Oore, 2011), increased job stress (Agervold & Mikkelsen, 2004), somatic symptoms (LeBlanc & Kelloway, 2002), and emotional exhaustion (Grandey, Kern, & Frone, 2007).

(17)    2020 study of nearly 8,000 respondents found that one or more of six disruptive behaviors were reported at 97.8% of healthcare workplaces, with disruptive behaviors associated with poorer teamwork climate, safety climate, job satisfaction, and perceptions of management. These disruptive behaviors include:  

–      Turn their backs before a conversation is over

–      Hang up the phone before a conversation is over

–      Bully other people

–      Try to publicly humiliate others

–      Make comments with sexual, racial, religious, or ethnic slurs

–     Show physical aggression (ex: grabbing, throwing, hitting, pushing)

(18)    A survey of nearly 5,000 respondents (nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and management) noted physicians encountering the following behavior from non-physicians:

–      Negative comments about colleagues (71%)

–      Refusal to answer questions or return calls (68%)

–      Constant nitpicking/fault-finding (56%)

–      Reluctance to follow safety practices or work collaboratively (55%)

–      Impatience with questions (55%)

–       Condescending language, demeaning comments, and insults (54%)

(19)     In a study of 4,500 doctors and nurses, 71 percent tied disruptive behavior (defined as “abusive personal conduct,” including condescending, insulting, or rude behavior) to medical errors they knew of and 27 percent tied bad behavior to the deaths of their patients.

Civility in Digital Messaging and Social Media

(20)    An analysis of mainstream media and blog sites separated out individual types of uncivil behavior, and found >25% of comments contained either insulting language or mockery, the most common types of incivility

(21)    A content analysis of uncivil comments around news media stories has shown that uncivil messages are not based on evidence

(22)    Uncivil language in a blog post produces more attitude certainty and less open-mindedness outcomes that further indicate incivility could be pushing people toward more polarization.

(23)    84 percent have personally experienced incivility; and 25 percent have experienced cyberbullying or incivility online, up nearly three times from 2011

(24)    Experts predict that as many as 40% of all Americans will be digitally shamed

(25)    According to over 1,500 leaders and technology experts selected by Pew Internet Research center, most believed (81 percent) that the tone of online discourse will either stay the same or get worse over the next decade.

(26)    A majority of Americans (62%) view online harassment as a major problem, and nearly eight-in-ten Americans (79%) say online services have a duty to step in when harassment occurs on their platforms.

(27)    Contributing heavily to the cause of online incivility is social media, with 63% of Americans saying that, in their experience, the impact of social media on civility has been more negative than positive. Only nine percent say it has been more positive than negative

Civility with Voters and Politics

(28)    Likely voters see negative consequences for uncivil behavior: 

                                      •   79 percent say incivility in government is preventing action on important issues

                                      •  77 percent say the U.S. is losing stature as a civil nation

                                      •  76 percent say incivility makes it difficult to discuss controversial issues

                                      •  64 percent say they have stopped paying attention to political conversations and debates 

                                      •  61 percent say incivility is deterring people from entering public service

(29)    Nearly all Americans, 95 percent, say civility is a problem, with three-quarters (74 percent) saying civility has declined in the past few years and two-thirds (67 percent) saying it is a major problem today. In the online poll conducted among 1,005 adults 18 years and older, 70 percent also say that incivility in this country has risen to “crisis” levels, up from 65 percent in 2014.

(30)    Voters agreed that political incivility affects the reputation of the U.S. (86 percent)

(31)    The top 3 factors contributing to the loss of civility in America – according to political affiliation (2019)

      •  Social Media/News Media/Hollywood Celebrities (REPUBLICANS)

     •  White House/Social Media/Politicians in general (DEMOCRATS)

     •  Social Media/Politicians in general/News Media (INDEPENDENTS)

References

1.   Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate and KRC Research. Civility in America 2019: Solutions for Tomorrow. Published June 6, 2019. https://www.webershandwick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CivilityInAmerica2019SolutionsforTomorrow.pdf

2.   Ibid

3.   Ibid

4.   Gabriel, Allison S, Marcus M Butts, Zhenyu Yuan, and Michael T Sliter. “Further Understanding Incivility in the Workplace: The Effects of Gender, Agency, and Communion.” ResearchGate. American Psychological Association, December 14, 2017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321817436_Further_Understanding_Incivility_in_the_Workplace_The_Effects_of_Gender_Agency_and_Communion.

5.   Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate and KRC Research. Civility in America 2019: Solutions for Tomorrow. Published June 6, 2019. https://www.webershandwick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CivilityInAmerica2019SolutionsforTomorrow.pdf

6.    C. Pearson and C. Porath, The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It (New York: Portfolio / Penguin Group, 2009); and C. Porath and C. Pearson, “The Price of Incivility,” Harvard Business Review, January–February 2013.

7.    “How Incivility Spreads in the Workplace.” Research at Michigan State University, 2021. https://research.msu.edu/how-incivility-spreads-in-the-workplace/.

8.    J. Connelly, “Have We Become Mad Dogs in the Office?” Fortune, November 28, 1994, 197–99.

9.    Lisa A Marchiondo, Gwenith G Fisher, Lilia M Cortina, Russell A Matthews, Disrespect at Work, Distress at Home: A Longitudinal Investigation of Incivility Spillover and Crossover Among Older Workers, Work, Aging and Retirement, Volume 6, Issue 3, July 2020, Pages 153–164, https://doi.org/10.1093/workar/waaa007

10.   A. H. Rosenstein and M. O’Daniel, “A Survey of the Impact of Disruptive Behaviors and Communication Defects on Patient Safety,” Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety 34, no. 8 (2008): 464–71.

11.   J. Rozovsky, “The Five Keys to a Successful Team,” The Water Cooler (blog), Google re:Work, November 17, 2015, https://rework.withgoogle.com/blog/five-keys-to-a-successful-google-team/

12.    Medscape. (2018). Workplace Incivility: Perceptions of Urologic Nurses. [online] Available at: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/893434_2 

13.    Medscape. (2018). ANA: ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Workplace Violence, Bullying. [online] Available at: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/850383 [Accessed 8 Aug. 2018].

14.    Ibid.

15.    The Value of Positive Organizational Cultures in Reducing Workplace Incivility. Heather K. Spence Laschinger, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCAHS; Carol A. Wong, PhD, RN; Greta G. Cummings, PhD, RN, FCAHS; Ashley L. Grau, MSc. Medscape. (2018). [online] Available at: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/821471_6

16.    Laschinger, H.K.S., Grau, A.L., Finnegan, J., & Wilk, P. (2010). New graduate nurses’ experiences of bullying and burnout in hospital settings. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(12), 2732–2742.

17.     Rehder, Kyle J., Kathryn C. Adair, Allison Hadley, Katie McKittrick, Allan Frankel, Michael Leonard, Terri Christensen Frankel, and J. Bryan Sexton. “Associations between a New Disruptive Behaviors Scale and Teamwork, Patient Safety, Work-Life Balance, Burnout, and Depression.” The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety 46, no. 1 (January 2020): 18–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcjq.2019.09.004

18.    Institute For Safe Medication Practices. (2013). Unresolved Disrespectful Behavior in Healthcare – Practitioners Speak Up Again (Part I). [online] Available at: https://www.ismp.org/resources/unresolved-disrespectful-behavior-healthcare-practitioners-speak-again-part-i?id=60 

19.    A. H. Rosenstein and M. O’Daniel, “A Survey of the Impact of Disruptive Behaviors and Communication Defects on Patient Safety,” Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety 34, no. 8 (2008): 464–71.

20.    Lee H., Pang N. (2014). Responding to the haze: information cues and incivility in the online small world. In Proceedings of ISIC, the Information Behaviour Conference, Leeds, 2-5 September, 2014: Part 1 . Retrieved from http://www.informationr.net/ir/19-4/isic/isic04.html#.Vv73kGQrK2w

21.    Coe K., Kenski K., Rains S. A. (2014). Online and uncivil? Patterns and determinants of incivility in newspaper website comments. Journal of Communication , 64(4), 658–679. http://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12104

22.    Borah P. (2014). Does it matter where you read the news story? Interaction of incivility and news frames in the political blogosphere. Communication Research , 41(6), 809–827. http://doi.org/10.1177/0093650212449353

23.    HuffPost. (2017). Shame Nation: The Rise of Incivility in America. [online] Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/shame-nation-the-rise-of-incivility-in-america_us_591357d3e4b0e070cad70b2f [Accessed 14 Jul. 2018]

24.    Danielle Keats Citron. 2016. Hate Crimes in Cyberspace. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, USA.

25.    Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. (2017). Roughly four-in-ten Americans have personally experienced online harassment. Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/07/11/online-harassment-2017/pi_2017-07-11_online-harassment_0-01/ 

26.    Ibid.

27.    Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate and KRC Research. Civility in America 2019: Solutions for Tomorrow. Published June 6, 2019. https://www.webershandwick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CivilityInAmerica2019SolutionsforTomorrow.pdf

28.   “Press Release – Nearly All Likely Voters Say Candidates’ Civility Will Affect Their Vote; New Poll Finds 93% Say Beh – Weber Shandwick”. 2017. Webershandwick.Com. http://www.webershandwick.com/news/article/nearly-all-likely-voters-say-candidates-civility-will-affect-their-vote.

29.    Ibid.

30.    Weber Shandwick. (2018). Civility in America 2017: political edition – Weber Shandwick. [online] Available at: https://www.webershandwick.com/news/poll-finds-americans-united-in-seeing-an-uncivil-nation-divided-about-cause/ 

31.    Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate and KRC Research. Civility in America 2019: Solutions for Tomorrow. Published June 6, 2019. https://www.webershandwick.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CivilityInAmerica2019SolutionsforTomorrow.pdf

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