Worldwide, a yearning for civility blossomed in 2018, and workplaces were no exception.
In addition to Christine Porath’s presentation at SHRM, civility surfaced on the agenda of major wellness conferences, and a prominent midwest health care system launched, with some fanfare, an introductory “Choose Civility” e-course.
Some of the best research on workplace civility intervention comes from Michael Leiter and others, who studied the Civility, Respect, and Engagement in the Workforce (CREW) program that was successfully implemented at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, where, among other things, it was linked to improved patient care.
And check out Prof.Leiter’s study of CREW’s impact — in a non-VA health care setting — on interpersonal relations, burnout, commitment, teamwork, trust, absenteeism, and job satisfaction.
Pier Massimo Forni, author of Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct, wrote:
Civility means more than just being nice. It encompasses learning how to connect successfully and live well with others, developing thoughtfulness, and fostering effective self-expression and communication. Civility includes courtesy, politeness, mutual respect, fairness, good manners, as well as a matter of good health. Taking an active interest in the well-being of our community and concern for the health of our society is also involved in civility.
As a testament to the persuasiveness of Dr. Forni’s book, behold Howard County, Maryland, where readers were moved to launch a comprehensive Choose Civility initiative, with partnership among nearly 50 government agencies, nonprofits, businesses, and education systems united to encourage civility at home, at school, and at work. The program’s website is a trove of information and resources, including Choose Civility’s Strategic Plan, which may serve as a model for an employer getting started with its own civility initiative. (If you don’t live in Howard County, please get appropriate permission before using their content.)