Why Should We Provide Civility Training at Our Company?

Question:

What is Civility Training and should I be offering it at my work-site?  I have done the typical harassment, communication, and customer service training – is Civility Training different?

Answer:

Civility Training is a new approach for training.  It is workplace training that includes:

  • Harassment,
  • Bullying,
  • Cultural sensitivity,
  • Diversity, and
  • Professional Etiquette – all rolled into one.  

Yes, Civility Training is similar to those you have been offering in the past but this training folds all of those issues together and provides learners with practical tools for creating respectful, inclusive, and professional work environments – ultimately leading to improved employee relations and less harassment complaints.  These types of programs not only speak to behaviors, but also challenges the attendees to look introspectively and develop a self awareness of their own actions and communication styles with those around them.

There are some things to keep in mind according to  the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) regarding Civility Training.  Jonathan Segal, an attorney with Duane Morris in Philadelphia and New York noted: that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) general counsel has said that the following rule, which some employers may want to implement as one way to promote civility, would in fact violate the NLRA: “Be respectful to the company, other employees, customers, partners and competitors.” The general counsel has found that this rule would potentially interfere with employees’ right to engage in protected concerted activity.  ​Civility training should be conducted with NLRB decisions in mind.

It is also important to note that in October 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it would be offering two new training’s for employees that appear to be what would be considered “Civility Training”.  These training’s are expected to move away from the traditional harassment definition training and move more toward the promotion of inclusion and respect in the workplace.  These are exciting training alternatives in the workplace and will definitely open up discussion and communication on workplace behavior.

 

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