“The customer is always right.” But what if the customer is rude, angry or even hostile? How does this affect those who witness or experience it? Whether you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, flying on a plane, or getting blood drawn at a health clinic, rudeness seems to be rampant. And, unfortunately, frontline workers bear the brunt of this rise in uncivilized behavior. It’s as if they’ve gone from “essential workers” to punching bags as exhausted, annoyed, stressed-out people, customers and patients release their anxiety and depression.
I have researched this topic for two decades, inspired by my own toxic workplace experiences. I’ve written about the cost of rudeness and how it prevents people from working together, how to reduce incivility in healthcare, how to make politeness a norm in teams, and more.
In our upcoming Big Idea, we will explore new trends and data on uncivil behavior; share insights on how employees, managers, healthcare providers and organizations respond to customer and patient misbehavior examples; and provide research-backed recommendations for managing the negative effects of uncivilized behavior — and preventing it in the first place.
We are trying to dig deeper and we need your input. Whether you work in an office, home, hospital or any other workplace, we want to know about your incivility experience and what you may have witnessed as an employee and customer. Your data will allow us to track trends and gain a deeper understanding of what drives uncivil behaviour in the workplace and on the front lines today. From there, we can create a more respected community for suggestions. The survey, which takes approximately 5 to 7 minutes to complete, asks a series of questions about poor employee, customer or patient behavior. All responses are anonymous.
Take the survey.