All efforts at transforming a workplace into a fun place will come to naught if companies do not keep a check on the display of uncivil behavior.
Here is a partial list of what constitutes uncivil behavior:
Inconsiderate words, deeds, or actions
Interrupting a conversation
Harassment, bullying, and physical violence
If left unchecked, this contagious disease will gradually spread its tentacles across the company and cause irreparable harm. A poll of 800 managers and employees in seventeen industries who have been at the receiving end of workplace incivility concluded that nearly everybody who is affected responds negatively.
80 percent lost work time worrying about the incident
66 percent said their performance declined
78 percent said their commitment to the organization went down
25 percent admitted to taking their frustration out on customers
In extreme cases, employees may decide to leave the company. The rampant prevalence of uncivil behavior has tangible costs associated with it.
‘A 2007 study published in the Academy of Management Journal reports workplace incivility costs companies $14,000 per employee because of lost productivity and work time. This study wasn’t referring to outright bullying or threatening behavior. Instead, the researchers examined incivility-less misconduct, like derogatory remarks, ignoring co-workers, and a condescending tone. Perhaps, even a more disturbing study published in 2016 in the Journal of Applied Psychology reports that incivility is contagious. Just as kindness can be ‘paid forward,’ so can rude behavior, observes Amy Morin.
What should you do when you witness uncivil behavior? Mete out the same treatment that you would when you spot a cockroach: snuff it out, then and there. Do not show leniency. If you ignore it, it will spread and give birth to a stressful and toxic work environment.
psychological Impacts on Employees
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, a stressful work environment causes psychological changes in employees due to the secretion of two hormones:
Cortisol: Its presence causes stress.
Adrenaline: Its presence puts people in a ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ mode.
The presence of these two hormones among employees causes stress and makes them display hostile behavior. The presence of cortisol depletes serotonin, the well-being and happiness chemical. This leads to a fall in productivity, a decrease in team spirit, detachment from work, and increases stress.
On the other hand, if there is laughter and fun at a workplace, then it can potentially lead to a release of three types of hormones:
Oxytocin: This leads to the building of trust and increases generosity among people.
Dopamine: This is a pleasure hormone that increases motivation.
Endorphins: This triggers positive emotions and diminishes painful feelings.
These three hormones foster improved teamwork, increased productivity, better collaboration, enhanced creativity, and more.
Bottom line: ensure that stress in the work environment is reduced if not eliminated; laughter and fun should abound at the workplace.
Benefits of a Fun Workplace
Here’s a partial list of the benefits of pursuing this strategy of keeping employees happy:
Lower attrition rate
The emotional bond between the company and its employees, making it difficult for competition to poach them.
Increase in productivity
Improved communication and collaboration among employees Increase in creativity and lateral thinking among the employees Boosts creativity.
Employees reciprocate the company’s gesture by taking care of its interests.
Happy employees become advocates of the company.
Happy employees make customers happy, and they, in turn, become brand advocates.
The cost of hiring (replacement) is high; this expense is reduced.
The danger of departing talent leaving with the company’s intellectual property also gets mitigated Improved job satisfaction.
Criticism of the company and a negative buzz created by departing employees get reduced.
Transforming workplaces into fun places has so many advantages that companies now look at it as a strategy and are reaping the benefits. So, go ahead and embrace this strategy, and your company, too, will experience the benefits that accrue from it.
What Can You Do to Create a Fun Workplace?
Here are some steps you can take to transform your workplace into a fun place:
Bring nature inside the workplace o Design your office so that there is ample natural light.
Put potted plants throughout the office.
Install an artificial waterfall if space permits. The sound of falling water will de-stress your employees.
Liberally use primary colors: red, blue, green, and yellow. This will make your office appear more playful.
Allocate space for collaborative work.
Have common areas to encourage ‘inadvertent collusion.’
Serve healthy meals or snacks.
Encourage employees to decorate their work area in a manner that makes them feel happy.
Celebration o Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries of your employees.
Celebrate their success.
Encourage employees to express gratitude.
Whenever you notice uncivil behavior, stamp it out then and there.
Be a role model for your team to emulate.
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