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Civility at Work and Elsewhere

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Google and Microsoft have published their studies on civility at work and the internet at large. We summarize here some of the main ideas depicted from their work.
Google and Microsoft have published their studies on civility at work and the internet at large. We summarize here some of the main ideas depicted from their work.
Google re:Work published a couple of articles on the importance of civility at work: Going above and beyond: Fostering citizenship in the workplace and Bringing civility back to the workplace. They consider that civility helps fostering a healthy environment that is beneficial for teamwork and helps bringing out the latent potential that people have. For example, they found out that people are twice as likely to help others in the future if they receive thanks when helping someone.
Based on their research, Google concluded that citizenship behavior is more common when work climate is “rooted in fairness, trust, autonomy and cooperation.” Also, they concluded that “respect and incivility are each contagious as people reflect the treatment they receive.” Those exposed to incivility are “more likely to have dysfunctional and aggressive thoughts,” and those “surrounded by jerks learn intuitively to act selfishly.” To avoid a negative climate, organizations are advised to make deliberate steps in bringing civility at work, encouraging and rewarding proper behavior.
Some of the recommended steps are: Interview for civility. Use structured interviews with behavioral question to check for conscientiousness and ethics. Check references thoroughly, but also go beyond provided references, chasing down leads and hunches. Be explicit about your organization’s values. Encourage candidates to decide for themselves: Do they truly want to work in an organization where these values reign supreme every day? Make civility part of your mission statement.

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