Workplace Civility

“Treating people with civility is a prerequisite for discovery.“
~ Adam Grant 

Workplace Civility

“Workplace Civility refers to the respectful and courteous behavior exhibited by individuals toward their colleagues in the workplace. It involves treating others with dignity, showing appreciation for their contributions, and refraining from any behavior that may be perceived as rude, aggressive, or disrespectful. Workplace Civility also encompasses active listening, empathy, and constructive communication, which contribute to fostering positive relationships, increasing job satisfaction, and improving organizational outcomes."

Source: Peng X. Advancing Workplace Civility: a systematic review and meta-analysis of definitions, measurements, and associated factors. 

Creating a civil and respectful work environment is one of the Lab’s five stewardship values.


We depend on contributions from many people, disciplines, and roles to unlock the potential of individuals and teams. Each of us takes responsibility for the well-being, safety, and belonging of others in our communities.

Components of a Civil and Respectful Work Environment

(Source: The Importance of Teaching Civility as a Workplace Relationship Building Competency

Dr. Christine Porath
Workplace Civility Increases Productivity - NIH
Photo: Marleen Van Den Neste 

LinkedIn Learning

Teaching Civility in the Workplace* (42 min)

Focusing on eradicating negative behaviors isn’t always enough to create a civil workplace. Employees and managers also need to learn what they should do to make their environment a respectful and pleasant one. This course shares how to create a happier, healthier workplace by teaching civility and setting a good example with your own behavior. Get tips for becoming a more active listener, standing up for yourself when you experience microaggressions and incivility, and coaching others.

* Although the scenarios represented in this course take place in an office setting, the lessons and content shared can be applied to any work situation at Berkeley Lab. 

Recognizing Incivility & Calculating the Cost

Incivility looks like: 

The cost of incivility on employees is high: 

Self Reflection 

This self assessment from Dr. Christine Porath gives you an opportunity to reflect on your behavior at work across a variety of circumstances. The results provide highlights of places you excel and suggestions for more thoughtful behavior in future interactions. 

Start with the assumption that we all probably do these things or have done these things at some point. No one is perfect,  we're all human, and we're all learning. Don't forget to give yourself grace when you take the self-assessment.

Workplace civility self-assessment tool

Establishing Group Norms

Having a conversation about who you want to be as a group and how you'd like to show up is a powerful way to define your work community. Take a look at the questions and explore the process in more detail with the resources below. 

Deep Dives: 

For teams with hybrid workers, this charter sets expectations for how your team will communicate, collaborate, and work together effectively.