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Most American Workers Experience Incivility in the Workplace; Divisive Dialogue Undermines Inclusion and Employee Wellbeing

SHRM Launches “1 Million Civil Conversations” Initiative to Propel Workplace Civility

SHRM, the trusted authority on all things work, today announced its “1 Million Civil Conversations” initiative, aimed at fostering inclusive and respectful workplace cultures that allow people and business to thrive. A reported two-thirds of U.S. workers experienced or witnessed incivility in their workplace over the past month, underscoring the critical need to foster spaces of respect and understanding. SHRM believes everyone can play a role in transforming workplaces to be more civil, one conversation at a time.

With two major elections on the horizon in 2024 (United States and India), the world will likely see heightened tensions and polarizing viewpoints. In addition to challenging people worldwide to engage in 1 million civil conversations this year, SHRM is equipping employers with the necessary research, resources, and guidance to empower their workforce with the skills and tools to foster civil dialogue in their workplaces.

SHRM 2024 research shows the disturbing trend of incivility in today’s workplaces, ultimately impacting workplace wellbeing and employee retention:

  • Two-thirds of U.S. workers (66%) experienced or witnessed incivility in the workplace over the past month.
  • Workers who rate their workplace as uncivil are three times more likely to express job dissatisfaction (28%); and more than twice as likely to consider leaving their job in the next year (38%).
  • Thirty three percent of U.S. workers expect workplace conflict to increase over the next 12 months.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM President and CEO, emphasizes the significance of individual contributions to building a truly inclusive workplace culture. “If we want to build a world of work that works for all, we need more than corporate objectives. Civility is inclusion in action and must be carried out by the people in their daily interactions,” he affirms. “Looking forward, the future of work hinges on collaboration, ideation, and innovation, with civility serving as the indispensable catalyst for bridging discord and empowering workforce synergy. SHRM is encouraging organizations and individuals to be catalysts for civility by starting 1 million civil conversations.”

Throughout 2024, SHRM will be engaging people across the country through experiential pop-up events and will be measuring civility by the upcoming Civility Index, a periodic pulse survey designed to gauge the prevailing levels of civility in the workplace and society.