Tagged workplace

Workplace Incivility Is At An All Time High

According to Christine Porath, Associate Professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, 25% of employees surveyed in 1998 reported being treated rudely at work at least once a week.  That number rose to 55% in 2011 and increased further to 62% in 2016.  A second poll by Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate, and KRC Research showed that 70% of Americans think that political incivility has reached “crisis” levels. 

Catherine Mattice, president of Civility Partners LLC, describes incivility as, “…any sort of rudeness, any sort of micro-aggression, anything you do that causes the other person to feel uncomfortable or unhappy.”

At the watercooler the talk is no longer about Game of Thrones’ episodes but rather discussions about the President’s latest policy decisions, immigration and a border wall.  All of these topics have a chance of alienating/infuriating particular races, religions and nationalities.  Not all incivility however originates with political disagreements.  A survey Porath took two years ago showed that over half of workers behaved uncivilly because of work overload and, oddly, forty percent claimed they had no time to be nice, while a quarter behaved rudely because their bosses also behaved as such.  Other factors contributing to the rise of rudeness are cultural clashes and an increase in narcissism among younger adults.

What is the price of workplace unrest?  According to a study by Porath and Amir Erez, professor of management at the University of Florida, an individual’s cognitive skills dropped thirty percent after rude treatment.  Harmful treatment may cause physical or mental health problems as well.  The American Psychological Association estimates that workplace stress costs companies billions every year in employee turnover, absenteeism and lower productivity.  A poll of 800 managers and employees conducted by Porath revealed that those treated disrespectfully at work intentionally decreased the quality of their work and the amount of time invested in it.  In addition, workplace harassment may lead to expensive lawsuits. 

Clearly incivility is a destructive force but how important is showing respect? According to Porath, respect shown by a leader is the most important key to producing commitment and engagement from employees.  It outweighs showing recognition and appreciation, feedback and even opportunities for growth.

So listen, forget about President Trump for a moment!  Game of Thrones will return in July.  Once again we can talk about the war in Westeros rather than the war in the workplace.

International Women’s Day: How Far Do Women Have to Go In the Workplace?

The world celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th.  In addition to celebrating all the various achievements of women, this day serves to raise awareness regarding the lack of gender equality.  The day is intended to celebrate the need for equality and yet ironically the day itself perhaps does not receive the equal treatment it deserves.  I must admit I had never heard of Women’s Day until after the day had passed.  The first Women’s Day occurred in 1911 in Austria and since then it has popped up here and there around the world as spikes of renewed interest in advancing gender parity took the form of rallies and women’s marches. 

How far have women come in recent years to achieving workplace equality, particularly in the US? Is a push still warranted?  Grant Thornton, a global tax, auditing and advisory firm has been tracking the progress women have made into senior leadership roles since 2004.   Globally, in 2004, women held 19% of the senior executive leadership roles while in the US, for that same year, women represented 20% of those roles.  In 2017 women’s global representation has gained ground and stands at 25% while the pace in the US has slowed a bit and now stands slightly below the global average at 23%.  Despite the increase, gains have been very modest in the last thirteen years. Perhaps more startling is that in 2012, 30% of companies in the U.S. had no female senior leaders while in 2017 that number has not decreased but increased slightly to thirty-one percent.  Advances are slow or even non-existent in areas.  Furthermore, women have not broken through in many other areas of business and government.

Following are 15 jobs women have yet to hold in the U.S.:

·         President of the US

·         Vice President of the US

·         Head coach of a major big 4 sports team

·         Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

·         FBI or CIA director

·         Senate Majority Leader

·         Member of the Joint Chiefs

·         Secretary of Defense, Treasury and Veterans affairs

·         Governor in 23 US states

·         CEO of a top 5 Fortune 500 company

·         Secretary General of the UN

Presently women on average earn only 80 cents for every dollar that men earn, however women do out-earn men in some professions.  The top five are:

·         Physician advisor

·         Purchasing specialist

·         Research assistant

·         Merchandiser

·         Social worker

These are however not the occupations in which women earn the most.  The top 5 and their median pay are as follows:

·         Corporate counsel – $115,000

·         Pharmacist – $119,000

·         VP of Marketing – $123,000

·         General pediatrician – $152,000

·         General practice physician – $173,000

Women are obviously successful and though one hasn’t piloted a top five Fortune 500 Company, Mary Barra currently helms #8 GM.  Yet the gains women have made are barely measurable from year to year.  A woman’s desire to manage both work and family is a frequently offered explanation.   Catherine Hill, The American Association of University Women remarks, “Yes, the choices we make are a big part of it, but it’s also the choices people assume we’re going to make.”  Meaning that yes, many women’s careers suffer when they take time off to care for children or family members but those who have no such aspirations are still penalized.

Mark your calendars for next March.  Women’s day will be coming back around and we all have the opportunity to celebrate women’s gains or lack thereof with a blog post or at the very least, a shout out on Twitter.