Performance Reviews Should Assess Civility And Respect

A critical parameter is often ignored in management performance reviews – whether the manager treats others with civility and respect.

A large body of research in the past decade has shown that managers who display bias or engage in bullying and emotional harassment are a parasitic drain on the battery of an organization.

An abusive boss creates psychological stress for workers, leading to job dissatisfaction, turnover and a host of counter-productive behaviors (i.e., absenteeism, sabotage, litigation). S/he serves as a model for other employees, who also engage in bullying behaviors.

The American College of Cardiology recently issued a Health Policy Statement in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology proposing that cardiovascular organizations conduct performance reviews that include an “assessment on respect and civility.”

Culture of Respect

The recommendation is the outcome of an on-line survey conducted by the ACC in 2021 that found over one-third of resident doctors and faculty reported experiencing bias, discrimination, bullying and harassment at their main place of work.

Of the 5,931 cardiologists (77% men and 23% women) who responded to the survey, 44% reported a hostile work environment. The survey found that women and early career cardiologists had the “highest odds” of experiencing a hostile work environment.

“Civility and respect are essential for teamwork and are key in helping improve cardiovascular care,” according to the ACC.

The ACC states that those providing, researching or educating about cardiovascular care should establish a “culture of respect” in their policies, programs and procedures. The organization calls for environment/culture change through the investment of adequate financial and personnel resources to adopt anti-bullying policies, procedures and reporting.

The ACC pledged to create resources, provide education and develop tools to address bias, discrimination, bullying and harassment.

The survey included cardiologists in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, the European Union, the Middle East, Oceana, and North, Central, and South America.

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