The importance of employee civility

February 12th, 2014

Disputes between your employees can reflect badly on your business.

If you run a retail business or one that has a lot of direct employee-to-customer interaction, you'll no doubt make sure that customer care is a top training priority.

Everyone in the industry knows that poor customer service can significantly impact your clients' satisfaction, the reputation of your company and, if bad enough, its cash flow finance.

However, have you considered that in addition to how your employees act towards the customers themselves, the interaction among staff members can have just as much effect on your customers' perception of your company?

Research from the University of Southern California found that rude behaviour between workers can damage your company's reputation, even if it isn't actually directed at customers. In fact, the study found that patrons of a business are more tolerant of employee intolerance than employee incivility.

This even includes scenarios where a staff member is rudely reprimanding another employee for poor customer service - as long as harsh or unjust words and actions are used, it's likely to weigh very heavily in your customer's opinion of your business.

"These findings underscore the need for organisations to promote employee civility," explains Deborah MacInnis, one of the authors of the study.

"Training employees to treat one another well enhances the bottom line because of its impact on customer behaviour."

So what can you do about boosting the civility of your employees, and in turn, your company's reputation?

1. Have a policy. 

If something is important enough, you should probably have a formal policy on it - and civility is certainly a crucial HR issue. Make it a part of your company's anti-bullying policy, for example, so everyone is aware rudeness won't be tolerated.

2. Lead from the front.

As the leader of your business, your actions have more of an impact than you think on your employees. Always practice what you preach and treat your employees the way you'd like them to treat each other.

3. Invest in training.

Often the best way to get your staff up to speed with their manners is to enlist the help of a third party. There are plenty of workplace training programs available that can address every aspect of your staff interactions.

If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].