As employees push back on return-to-office initiatives, participate in productivity-destroying quiet trends, and continue to have issues that impede their ability to work, managers and executives have to deal with an increasingly demanding employee base.
Despite the balance of power shifting back in favor of the employer after recent layoffs, executives continue to cater to employees' requests to maximize retention and productivity.
Whether it is hosting engagement-driven happy hours, catering to the demands of Gen-Z, or offering the best type of technology to employees to avoid redundancy in their work, executives in general have been willing to adjust and be proactive in formulating goals in favor of what is best for employees. According to a recent meQuilibrium survey, only 26% of employees reported their coworkers and managers paid little attention to their statements and opinions — the highest level of incivility incidents or situations recorded in the survey of 5,483 employees.
Although Rare, Incivility is a Morale Killer
Incivility in the workplace is highly inappropriate. It should always fall under the responsibility of the executive leader to have the people and processes in place to ensure courteous communication, positive or negative, in the workplace. Although reported in comparatively low numbers, some employees still experienced incivility in different forms of immature conduct. These actions are not only a reflection of poor workplace management and communication structure but are easy remedies with well-rounded executives, according to meQuilibrium.
Extreme levels of incivility were much less common than more subtle behavior interpreted by the employee as being hostile or disrespectful. Only 6.1% of surveyed workers said someone had made jokes made at their expense, 5.9% reported being victims of angry outbursts, and 4.7% reported being accused of being incompetent. Only 3.8% of employees, the lowest total, indicated a colleague or manager had yelled, sworn, or shouted at them.
“Workplace incivility creates a toxic work environment that undermines team cohesion and collaboration, erodes trust between employees and their managers, and can ultimately damage the organization's reputation,” said Brad Smith, chief science officer of meQuilibrium. “When employees are subjected to rude, disrespectful, or aggressive behavior in the workplace, it can lead to decreased job satisfaction, increased stress, and decreased productivity, which can result in higher rates of absenteeism, turnover, and decreased organizational performance.”
Supported Employees Fare Better
As employee sensitivity increases, managers attentive to their mental well-being are more likely to get those employees to stick around. Surveyors report that managers mindful of team well-being can reduce turnover risk by 78%. According to meQuilibrium's findings, well-supported employees are 25% less likely to be stressed out and 33% less likely to have difficulty sourcing motivation. Those same employees have a 58% lower risk of burnout and are 56% less likely to experience “high work stress."
The survey indicated that employees who are mentally tough fare better because they are more willing to put up with incivility. Findings showcase that these highly resilient employees are 56% less likely to endorse "quiet quitting" and show 52% lower stress-related productivity impairment compared with their less resilient coworkers.
Generational employee differences are also significant factors in well-being and the likelihood of participating in unproductive labor trends. According to the survey findings, employees under 30 years old are 62% more likely to report stress-impaired productivity than employees 60 years and older. With that, younger employees were also 2.7 times more likely to endorse the concept of quiet quitting versus their older coworkers.
“Effective managers who support team mental well-being dramatically improve retention and speed innovation by ensuring psychologically safe environments,” said Jan Bruce, CEO and co-founder, meQuilibrium. “Supportive managers also cut burnout risk, boost productivity, and provide an important buffer against incivility.”