By Sobia Hassan Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan

Workplace incivility is described as low-intensity behavior that will be displayed through acts of rudeness, discourtesy, impoliteness, or that violate cultural norms. Workplace incivility is a growing concern in many organizations and can not only negatively affect the image of the organization but also lowers the productivity. People are less likely to associate with organizations whose employees are rude; even if the rudeness is not directed at them. Customers walk away from these companies if they perceive any form of rude behavior. Employers recognize incivility as wrong, but they also need to know that it also comes at a tangible cost. The cost of rudeness can cost thousands of dollars to replace the employee who had left the organization because of incivility. Employees can exhibit different levels of rude behavior at the workplace. There are mainly two categories; verbal uncivil behavior and physical uncivil behavior.

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Verbal Uncivil Behavior-Passive Not answering calls, emails
Verbal Uncivil Behavior-Active Spreading lies about coworkers
Verbal Uncivil Behavior-Active Insulting people and yelling at coworkers
Physical Uncivil Behavior- Passive Influencing others to stop cooperating
Physical Uncivil Behavior-Active Stealing office resources
Physical Uncivil Behavior-Active Physically attacking people

There are many causes of incivility within the organization. Highlighting these causes can help managers and business owners take steps to stop rudeness in the workplace and create a suitable atmosphere for employees. The main causes are: mismatched team members, low employee morale, workplace stress and cultural differences.

There are several ways to deal with incivility in the workplace because many successful entrepreneurs and leaders have come up with ways to work efficiently with their employees. They manage their employees with great strategies that increase their morale and level of productivity. To deal with workplace incivility;

  • Organizations have to design a model that values civility.
  • Address disrespectful behavior before it arises.
  • Train employees for civility and ethical morality.
  • At last, hold everyone accountable for their inconsistent behaviors.

Workplace incivility leads towards many negative outcomes in the form of reduced well-being (Physical & Mental), job dissatisfaction, psychological stress, reduced organizational commitment, depression and turnover intention. Learning about incivility is the first step to overcome it. Implementing strategies to combat workplace incivility can result in successful outcomes and a healthy work environment.


Sobia Hassan

Lect. Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan

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