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At Least We're Making an Effort to be Civil at Work

It's a bleak day for civility here in the nation's capital, but the seventh annual Civility In America survey provides a tiny ray of light: nine in 10 employed Americans consider their workplace to be quite civil.

Weber Shandwick, along with Powell Tate and KRC Research, conducted the seventh Civility in America survey in December 2016 to track our annual "civility deficit". So let's visit a few key findings, shall we?

While a record-high 69% of survey participants think American society has major civility problems -- and 75% see a societal lack of civility reaching crisis levels -- 86% surveyed said their work life is generally on the courteous and polite side. In fact, 84% of employees view their chosen professional field as largely civil.

(Unless they deal with the public, that is. Sales and customer-facing employees are the least likely to view their industry or profession as being civil.)

Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds (63%) agree that we are more civil at work than when we are not at work. Here is a Weber Shandwick chart that summarizes the key survey results.

More than half surveyed (56%) expect societal incivility to get worse. What can be done about it?

The survey participants were asked for their thoughts on creating a more civil society. Ideas that made the short list include having social media sites and search engines stop including information that isn't factual/is fake news (58%); requiring civility training in schools (49%); encouraging employees to report workplace incivility to management (40%); putting the onus on employers to stop incivility at work (38%); and forging a national civility campaign to encourage kindness, politeness and courtesy (36%).

I've blogged about creating kinder workplaces, and here is my seven-step plan.

The survey found 75% would would be willing to personally set a good civility example. It sounds like we're doing it at work, and that's a good start. Now let's work together on building our country.


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