Employee-employee incivility in front of customers is bad for business

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Washington, Feb 18 (ANI): A new study has revealed that when employees are rude to one another, it creates a negative impression that affects consumer judgments of the company.

In the study, researchers Christine Porath, Debbie MacInnis, and Valerie Folkes from all University of Southern California found that consumers frequently witnessed incidents of employees behaving badly toward each other.

"Employee incivility was reported across a variety of industries, including restaurants, banks, government offices, gyms, retail stores, universities, airlines, and entertainment venues," the authors said.

"Approximately 40 percent reported witnessing an act of employee incivility at least once per month," they added.

Across four studies, the authors found that consumers witnessing acts of employee incivility among employees is extremely detrimental to companies.

"It induces consumer anger and causes consumers to make broad and negative conclusions (generalizations) about the firm as a whole, other employees who work there, and expectations about future encounters with the firm; conclusions that go well beyond the uncivil incident," the authors said.

These negative responses extended even to cases when the uncivil employee was trying to help the customer by rectifying a delay in service delivery.

The authors suggest ways for corporations to promote employee civility

"Several methods include selecting for and training in civility, setting zero-tolerance expectations, and reprimanding incivility before it festers," the authors said.

"Our findings suggest one reason why training in the treatment of customers and employees enhances the bottom line-because of its impact on customer behavior," the authors added.

The study has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)

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