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Can’t we all just get along?

We’re conducting a survey on incivility in the workplace – and we want your opinion

By Todd Humber

Incivility. That’s a $5 — and five syllable — word that’s costing employers plenty of cash.

In an ideal world, we’d all be civil towards each other. But, for whatever reason, people just can’t seem to get along.

Even in the best of times, we don’t always realize the consequences of our actions.

What one person says as a passing remark, entirely without malice, can be misinterpreted by another. It can germinate in the other person’s mind like a poisonous seed, causing anxiety and loss of sleep. Side effects in the workplace include lower engagement, poor morale and declining productivity.

No matter what lens an employer looks at incivility through, the view is the same — it’s taking a serious financial toll.

Canadian HR Reporter recently hosted a webinar, featuring Sharone Bar-David of Bar-David Consulting, on incivility in the workplace. Now, we’re conducting a followup survey to find get a handle on how much of a problem incivility poses in the workplace.

The 12-question survey only takes a few minutes to complete. We want to gauge how many complaints of incivility — defined as “seemingly inconsequential, rude or disrespectful words or actions, where it's unclear that the person has intent to harm” — employers are receiving. We also want to find out how HR professionals handle complaints and what steps have been take to address incivility in the workplace.

Click here to take the survey or visit Results will be published in an upcoming issue of Canadian HR Reporter.

If you have tales to tell of your experiences with incivility in the workplace, and how you addressed it, please add a comment below. You can post anonymously.

Todd Humber is the managing editor of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. He can be reached at

Todd Humber

Todd Humber is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadian HR Reporter, the national journal of human resource management. Follow him on Twitter @ToddHumber
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