Professional Development Resources

Civility | Email Etiquette

Civility at Work

Source: Peggy M. Parks, AICI CIP, CPBS | Civility in the Workplace – The Parks Image Group
Peggy M. Parks, The Parks Image Group

Why is civility important, even in today’s world?

  • Civility is vital to the peaceful, harmonious and cohesive existence of individuals, groups and organizations
  • Without civility, there would be chaos
  • Civility holds moral implications and holds us back from operating on the “an eye for an eye” kind of reactionary, retaliatory behavior

What would civility look like in your work environment?

  • Co-workers would have a cooperative approach
  • They would recognize individual differences
  • Teams would be aware of underlying needs and be more open to adapting their opinions for the greater good
  • Incivility in the workplace will cost you.

What does incivility in the workplace do?

  • It erodes individual self-esteem and confidence
  • It creates a feeling of distrust in all kinds of relationshipsIt can translate into lackluster work performance and even lost time from work

What does incivility do to the individual?

  • 48% intentionally decreased work effort
  • 66% respondents said their personal performance declined
  • 78% said their commitment to the organization declined

What does incivility cost the company?

  • Negative responses from customers/clients
  • Lost work time and productivity
  • Lost employees/high turnover
  • Work avoidance
  • Decreased feelings of cooperation and teamwork
  • Health costs due to stress
  • Legal costs due to litigation

Source: The Cost of Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About It, by Christine Pearson and Christine Porath

Email Etiquette

Source: Peggy M. Parks, AICI CIP, CPBS | Voilà! The Parks Image Group Newsletter | Etiquette Corner: Get the Message

Peggy M. Parks, The Parks Image GroupOne complaint I often hear from friends and clients are people who don´t respond to emails. This isn´t merely a business problem; it´s a social one, too. One colleague was approached by a prospective client who asked for a quote for her services. When she sent through the information, the prospect never bothered to email back. She was then forced to follow up. Clearly the client wasn´t interested in hiring her, but it´s hard to distinguish lack of interest from simple forgetfulness. She went through a similar experience with another prospect. A month later, the prospect emailed back apologizing for the delay because he´d been on vacation – yet of course he hadn´t bothered to set an auto-responder. This can waste a lot of time.

You can also miss out when you let messages from friends pile up. A friend was going through a tough time last year and was surprised about a few so-called pals who left her in the lurch. Maybe because we see each other´s updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we don´t think it´s important to actually talk to someone?

Emails always have a way of piling up, but make an effort to flag any that require a response. Even if you have to wait until the end of the workday, it´s worth taking the time to respond. If you put it off, it´ll never happen.