The impact of civility interventions on employee social behavior, distress, and attitudes

J Appl Psychol. 2011 Nov;96(6):1258-1274. doi: 10.1037/a0024442. Epub 2011 Jul 11.


Although incivility has been identified as an important issue in workplaces, little research has focused on reducing incivility and improving employee outcomes. Health care workers (N = 1,173, Time 1; N = 907, Time 2) working in 41 units completed a survey of social relationships, burnout, turnover intention, attitudes, and management trust before and after a 6-month intervention, CREW (Civility, Respect, and Engagement at Work). Most measures significantly improved for the 8 intervention units, and these improvements were significantly greater than changes in the 33 contrast units. Specifically, significant interactions indicating greater improvements in the intervention groups than in the contrast groups were found for coworker civility, supervisor incivility, respect, cynicism, job satisfaction, management trust, and absences. Improvements in civility mediated improvements in attitudes. The results suggest that this employee-based civility intervention can improve collegiality and enhance health care provider outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / methods*
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Nova Scotia / epidemiology
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Personnel Turnover / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Behavior*
  • Trust / psychology
  • Workplace / psychology