Date of Conferral





Human Services


Gregory Hickman


The social problem of workplace incivility is a well-researched issue that impacts employees, work groups, and organizations across the nation. The purpose of this study was to understand how first-level human service managers describe employee turnover in relation to workplace incivility and what first-level human service managers view as successful strategies they have used to address workplace incivility. The theoretical framework utilized for this study was incivility spiral theory, as described by Andersson and Pearson. The purpose of this generic qualitative study was to gain an understanding of successful strategies that first-level human service managers utilize when addressing workplace incivility that aids in reducing turnover. Semistructured interviews were conducted via ZOOM video conferencing with 10 current or previous first-level managers in a human service organization. The themes that emerged, after interviews were transcribed and coded, not only revealed that good employees are being lost as a result of workplace incivility, but that managers used real life experiences, professional development, and the modeling of former managers when addressing workplace incivility. Implications for positive social change include training that will provide managers with an understanding of how to approach, investigate, and address workplace incivility and the creation of or strengthening of policies that aid in dealing with workplace incivility. Such changes could reduce or eliminate the negative consequences of workplace incivility; exhaustion, intentions to terminate employment, and work-related illnesses and stress.