Choosing Respect
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Choosing Respect in the Workplace™

The lack of civility and respect are common occurrences among employees, managers, members of our government, professional sports athletes and international celebrities.  Often, these behaviors are way over the line and have a far reaching negative impact.  They are acted out in moments of emotions that leave us less than rational and far from portraying our “Best Selves”.

In the workplace, all research indicates that employees report experiencing disrespectful behavior and managers at Fortune 1000 firms spend the equivalent of seven weeks a year dealing with the aftermath.  And the bottom line: after polling 800 managers and employees in 17 industries, employees who said they had experienced disrespectful behavior, decreased their work effort, intentionally decreased the time spent at work, decreased the quality of their work, and reported that their commitment, performance, creativity and engagement declined…you get the picture!

Disrespectful behavior in the workplace is expensive and prevents inclusion.

Managing incidents is expensive. HR professionals report that one incident can soak up weeks of attention and effort. According to one study highlighted in Fortune, managers and executives at Fortune 1000 firms spend 13% of their work time - that's the equivalent of seven weeks a year - mending employee relationships and dealing with the aftermath of incivility and disrespectful behavioral incidents. And costs soar when attorneys are brought in, good employees and customers leave, recruitment and public relations costs escalate and the image and brand of the organization is tainted.

As we all know, respect is the foundation and corner stone of Inclusion.

Choosing Respectful Workplace Conversations


Linda Stokes, President & CEO at PRISM International, Inc. discusses the story behind PRISM's new training program Choosing Respect in the Workplace™. Download her latest article, Choosing Respectful Workplace Conversations.

Rudeness in the workplace isn't just unpleasant: it's also contagious. Encountering rude behavior at work makes people more likely to perceive rudeness in later interactions, a University of Florida study shows. That perception makes them more likely to be impolite in return, spreading rudeness like a virus. When you experience rudeness, it makes rudeness more noticeable. You'll see more rudeness even if it's not there. Part of the problem is that we are generally tolerant of these behaviors, but they're actually harmful. Rudeness has an incredibly powerful negative effect on the workplace.

Now, take one uncivil or disrespectful incident, add one manager or executive and seven weeks of their time, throw in additional time and cost for dealing with the aftermath and multiply that by other incidents created by contagious rude behavior. Add up your total costs - be sure to include your opportunity cost. Expensive? Now, add in a second and a third uncivil or disrespectful incident on that same day or in another department or location. Now you really get the picture!

PRISM believes in being proactive and promoting civil, respectful and inclsuive behaviors.
That's why we created Choosing Respect in the Workplace™- a 3-hour facilitator-led training session that is unique in its approach, by helping your employees develop a mindset and skillset for choosing respectful behaviors and for gaining skills needed to address disrespectful behaviors when confronted with them. 
This is not a harassment or discrimination training course…and it’s not a charm school. This is a program that addresses the real world and everyday workplace situations facing your employees and the harming impact of those behaviors on the individual, the teams and the organization.

This is about more than learning to be polite…it's about knowing how to state your position or disagree without being disrespectful.  It's about seeking common ground as a starting point for conversation and listening to other perspectives.  It's also about avoiding the tendency to become hooked into unproductive behavior that ultimately results in personal and organizational loss.

Choosing Respect in the Workplace™ facilitator-led is a 3-hour facilitator-led training program that is snappy, relevant, impactful, eye-opening and decision shaping – and bottom line enhancing for every level in your organization. We keep it real by using timely, relevant topics facing today’s workforce…the political scene, social trends, economic issues and all things impacting and influencing us in the 24-7 news cycle.

Goal:  To gain awareness, skills and strategies to promote a respectful workplace.

At the conclusion of this workshop, you will achieve these objectives:

  1. Understand how professional, respectful behavior relates to the mission of your organization and impacts business performance.
  2. Define “respect” and identify associated behaviors.
  3. Understand your role in promoting a respectful workplace.
  4. Use the strategies and tools provided to ensure that everyday behaviors align with your organizational values to support positive business outcomes.


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The Cost of Incivility & Disrespect
  • 80% of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs
  • 48% of employees intentionally decrease their work effort
  • 47% of employees intentionally decrease their time spent at work
  • 38% of employees intentionally decrease their quality of work
  • 80% of employees lost work time worrying about the incident
  • 63% of employees lost work time avoiding the offender
  • 66% of employees said their performance declined
  • 78% of employees said their commitment to the organization declined
  • 25% of employees admitted to taking their frustration out on customers
  • 26% of employees have quit their job due to an uncivil workplace
  • 70% of Americans believe incivility has reached crisis proportions
  • 81% of Americans think that incivility is leading to an increase in violence
  • Americans encounter incivility an average of 2.4 times a day
  • 65% of employees report their jobs is the main source of their stress
  • Average job stress counts for 73% of overall employee life stress.
  • Stress is believed to trigger 70% of visits to doctors and 85% of serious illnesses.
  • Harvard Business Review, The Price of Incivility, January-February 2013
  • Journal of Applied Psychology Catching Rudeness is like Catching a Cold: The Contagion Effects of Low-Intensity Negative Behaviors, Vol 101(1), January 2016, pages 50-67
  • Civility in America: A Nationwide Survey, Weber Shandwich, Powell Tate & KRC Research
  • Choose Civility, The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct, Dr. Pier M. Forni
  • The 30% Solution - How Civility at Work Increases Retention, Engagement and Profitability, Lewena Bayer
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