That’s the conclusion of a new report Civility in America 2011. The 2011 online survey* was conducted in May among 1,000 American adults to assess attitudes towards civility online, in the workforce, in the classroom and in politics.
I was particularly struck by the statistics on workplace civility: 65% of the respondents blame corporate leadership for making the workplace more uncivil.
More than 70% of Americans consider political campaigns, pop culture, the media, government and the music industry hubs of incivility. Not surprisingly, Congressional Democrats, Congressional Republicans and Tea Party supporters are all viewed as more uncivil than civil.
According to the study, “while more than one-third (39%) expected things to turn less civil when surveyed in 2010, now more than one out of two Americans — 55% — expect a lack of civility to become the norm. Only nine percent in this year’s survey expect civility to get better compared to 26% who expected some relief last year. Incivility seems to be here to stay.”
Workplace Incivility Hurts Sales
Approximately seven in 10 Americans (69%) have either stopped buying from a company or have re-evaluated their opinions of a company because someone from that company was uncivil in their interaction, says the study. Not good for sales or a company’s brand. In another disturbing finding, over four in 10 Americans — 43% — have experienced incivility at work.
Respondents blame workplace leadership and other employees for the growing incivility problem. As I wrote in an earlier post, Treating Fired Employees Like Criminals, losing a job can be devastating. But when companies mistreat employees they are letting go, it poisons the workplace and, now we learn, can add to incivility.
With the 2012 Presidential campaign heating up, I guess we need to be resigned to even more incivility as the battle lines are drawn by politicians and we’re subjected to mud slinging in commercials. How sad.
*Study sponsored by Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate and conducted by KRC Research