Students know that the purpose of a college education is to prepare for a successful future in the vocation of their choice. However, they are increasingly also recognizing that knowledge of their chosen profession is necessary, but not sufficient to make them successful in the workplace. Part of that preparation includes norms of professional behavior that will help them demonstrate professionalism and succeed in the workplace.
According to a Harvard Business Review article by Christine Porath and Christine Pearson in 2013, 98% of workers surveyed over the past 14 years reported that they had experienced uncivil behavior on the job. While one could simply brush this off as part and parcel of being in the workplace, the article goes on to report that this incivility actually has tangible consequences that affect an organization’s bottom line. For example:
For managers at Fortune 1000 firms, this meant they had to spend what amounted to seven weeks a year dealing with the consequences of incivility; approximately 13% of their working time. This does not include the costs of consultants, regulatory and legal fees that are introduced to settle a situation.
For those that believe they can rely simply on their brilliance and disregard how they treat coworkers, consider that other studies show that workers will generally choose a more congenial colleague over one who may be more capable, but difficult to work with. Indeed, workers will choose the less capable and extract every bit of competence that colleague can offer.
As students become more cognizant of the fact that while college is often their first taste of freedom and independence, it is also the crucible in which to burnish not only their academic credentials, but also their professional patterns of behavior, which will follow (or haunt) them throughout their career. Some of the activities that bring awareness to civil behavior include:
Quote bubbles used by Monroe Community College (MCC) around campus for photo opportunities to raise civility awareness with an offensive clothing event. Citing the wrong choices in clothing, we know it affects our clients, but have you ever considered the campus perspective. Dressing with intent and dressing for respect of self and others is imperative in a civil society.
Surveys created around civility and find out areas of need and interest in your community. Then address these areas in a panel discussion or forum.
Social Media use, such as Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest to raise topics and engage the campus and community.
Quotes shared by Colorado State around a campus of character to reinforce positive values and raise the thought process to one holding members of the campus in high regard for good role models and level of character.
Engaging others with Quizzes that engage others, such as the one used at Clayton State. See how you can create a quiz to interact and gain valuable knowledge to help your community.
Awards and personal stories that bring it home and make the relationship to the programs and real and touch people’s hearts.
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City (FIT)
Social Media (#KeepItKind):
As part of the FIT Civility Initiative, students have created a Facebook page entitled FIT Compliments. The theme of this site is to provide and encourage the FIT community to share positive stories about each other and the institution they love.
Now you as an entrepreneur can make a civility impact too! Take a look at some of these examples of activities taking place around campuses and see if there are some that you might want to apply to your image business.
Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI CIC, Co-Author of ‘The Power of Civility: Top Experts Reveal the Secrets to Social Capital’, speaker, designer, style editor and award winning AICI Certified Image Consultant is the VP Communications on the Board of Directors for Image Impact International (III), a 501(c) 3 non-profit philanthropic entity engaged in a number of projects, including a book for the Disabilities Image and S.T.Y.L.E. Course, College 2 Career 2 Community Impact, Training 4 Impact and the III Civility Council. Our programs eliminate disadvantages, such as being under-prepared for internships and entry-level jobs. We focus on the social and cultural capital needed for college and workforce success. To learn more contact Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org