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Promoting Civility in the Correctional Workplace

Snide remarks, backhanded compliments, gaslighting. These are just a few of the ways that incivility appears in the workplace. Leaders and employees who are uncivil to others are motivated by their own self-interests, choosing to manipulate situations for their own advantage rather than for everyone’s benefit. Seemingly innocent, these microaggressions can lower morale and decrease employee performance. Knowing the causes of incivility, its consequences, and how to promote civility in the workplace can help correctional leaders and employees build psychologically safe environments where everyone grows and thrives. With this in mind, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) developed a two-part webinar series called Promoting Civility in the Correctional Workplace to expose the detrimental consequences of incivility in corrections and what staff and leaders can do about it.  

Leaders and managers play an important role in cultivating civility in the workplace. Certain leadership and management styles promote civility and create an organizational culture where employees feel valued and respected. If leaders and managers use effective approaches that raise awareness about the existence and consequences of workplace incivility, they will be better positioned to create a civil climate in the workplace that fosters a healthy organization. 

“Part One: The Causes and Effects of Workplace Incivility on Employees” is the first webinar in the incivility series and discusses how incivility both directly and indirectly affects the health of an organization. The webinar focuses on the challenges that people who experience incivility face and the patterns that those who engage in uncivil behavior display. The training emphasizes the benefits of civility and the role that every correctional professional plays in addressing workplace incivility. 

“Part Two: The Role of Leaders and Managers in Cultivating a Workplace of Civility” explores practical strategies for leaders and managers to address uncivil and disrespectful behavior immediately. Specifically, leadership and management styles and effective strategies for cultivating a civility-based environment are presented while the inherent value of civility in a correctional environment is highlighted.  

Research indicates that some roles within the correctional workforce are the most stressful public safety jobs in the United States. For this reason, the webinar also addresses the significance of civility in increasing mental wellness and the longevity of staff members. The training emphasizes the benefits of a civility-based work environment for the ongoing safety of staff, incarcerated individuals, and the general public. 

This webinar is presented by Dr. Rowlanda Cawthon, Dean and Associate Professor, Northwest University and Managing Principle of Rowlanda Cawthon & Associates, LLC. 

Learn more about workplace civility, working with challenging staff, and other corrections workplace-related topics in NIC’s Corrections Staffing Resource Center.

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