Companies and employers have responsibility to improve civility in society: Jack Leslie

Businesses need to be concerned about the erosion of civility that is currently occurring, according to Jack Leslie, the Chairman of Weber Shandwick and its specialist public affairs arm Powell Tate.

In an interview with The Australian’s Glenda Korporaal, published today, Mr Leslie said that our research shows that incivility has “reached crisis proportions”. According to him more than 75% of Americans surveyed are concerned about “uncivil actions and behaviour”.

The research referenced by Mr Leslie is an annual survey of civility that has been conducted by Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate and KRC since 2010. The most recent survey and report was published January in 2017.

Mr Leslie told The Australian: “Incivility is heightened with social media where people can be anonymous”, where “they can hide behind the digital wall”.

Incivility, according to Mr Leslie, makes civil discourse more difficult and makes it “harder for companies to be heard”. He said it leads to “a lot of cynicism.”

He said that leaders needed to do more in the workplace to root out uncivil behaviour which has an impact on companies and the way they are perceived. He said that the survey showed that people were less likely to buy from companies where they felt they had experienced incivility from staff.

Mr Leslie called on companies and employers to take a leadership role to improve civility.

The full report in The Australian can be read here. (Note: A subscription to The Australian is required to read the article.)