The Cost of Bad Behavior

The Cost of Bad Behaviour

How Incivility is Damaging Your Business and What to Do About it

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You know all those little things that we laugh at in Dilbert? Like how the boss is so demeaning? Like how the co-workers are so rude? Possibly the reason we laugh is because we recognize those situations—maybe in our own workplace—and we should take a moment to pause—seriously. Pearson and Porath argue that incivility like this is costing our businesses potentially billions of dollars every year in turnover, loss of productivity, stress leave, and other less tangible effects. The authors spend the first 120 pages of their book putting forth the case that incivility is prevalent and damaging. But the truly interesting pages come in “The Solution”—best practices exemplified by organizations such as Starbucks and Microsoft. The authors also base their top 10 recommendations in “hard evidence—interviews and survey results”, and tackle the weedy topic of what leaders should be doing in the face of difficult behaviour and subversive cultures. Eventually, it all comes down to this: take a stand. We know that we don’t want bad behaviour at work—no matter what the costs are. Each person needs to stand on a higher ground and, as the book says, “look in the mirror”. Start with yourself—start today. Create something better. Make civility part of your—and your organization’s—DNA.


Lisa Sansom