Employee Engagement

Category Description

May 09, 2024

4 Reasons Why Over-Apologizing at Work Hurts EX

by Ruma Malia

As he mumbled “Sorry” for perhaps the tenth time that day, Glenn wondered where all the apologizing had come from. It wasn’t that he was making mistakes. If anything, as a team lead, he was doing his best to provide a positive example in both his work and his behavior and to deliver honest and helpful feedback. For the first time in his decades-long career, though, he found himself apologizing over and over again, especially when providing negative or even neutral comments. Was it the pandemic? During those few years, the growing focus on being more mindful and sensitive toward others – clearly an effort started with the best of intentions – had led to an environment of abundant caution. Now, with trends like remote work waning, will over-apologizing stick around? Or, with apologies to Glenn and everyone else dropping “sorry” into conversations well beyond the necessity, can we just cut it out? In this article we’ll explore four ways that a culture of over-apologizing at work is negatively impacting Employee Experience (EX) and performance negatively. 1: Over-apologizing makes employees less confident Glenn wasn’t the only one who felt exhausted playing polite to the point of self-negation. As a lead, his team members took their etiquette cues from him. This extended to interactions with colleagues as well as clients. In any business built on innovation, critical thinking, and confident problem-solving, such a culture was turning out to be counterproductive. Over-apologizing leads both peers and clients to question the confidence and […]

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