Etiquette and modern manners in the workplace

As a child, you must have been asked or taught that you should greet your elders and visitors.  Possibly you were also taught to be quiet while the elders spoke or while in their company.  Being young you may have protested at some of these. Now, certainly, you know that you cannot always behave how you want when with others. There are rules and behaviours which you must abide by in a company. Our behaviours affect those around us in one way or another and as social beings, we must be considerate about this.

Manners are the behaviour that is considered acceptable and polite by a certain society or culture. Manners and etiquette vary from culture to culture and it’s important to learn and practice them every day. In business, some things can impact your reputation and future job prospects that have nothing to do with your job performance. Companies want employees who are reliable and can positively represent the company/ business.

In today’s world, it can be quite difficult to know what the proper business etiquette or communication style is for any given scenario. This is especially when dealing with a variety of tech platforms and virtual communication. Cultural differences and generational gaps also play a role when it comes to determining what is considered acceptable behaviour. However, basic tenets of professionalism do not change just because we have become more casual.

Business etiquette creates a professional, mutually respectful atmosphere and improves communication. This helps an office serve as a productive place for everyone. People often feel better about their jobs when they feel respected, and that translates into better customer relationships as well. Positive good relationships in business are built by exercising good etiquette, especially top-notch communication skills.

Good etiquette in business is rewarded. The people who exemplify good business etiquette prove that they respect their positions and co-workers and take performance seriously. These people, therefore, win promotions and get ahead in their careers easily. Some of the most crucial examples of business etiquette include paying attention to people’s names. Names are the first pieces of information that we learn about someone. It’s how people recognize and address you. Paying attention to someone’s name shows that you have taken interest in them and care about getting it right.

Greeting people you meet is not only polite but also establishes rapport. It is important to greet everyone you meet with the same degree of kindness irrespective of who they are. Complementing people is a polite way of starting a conversation. Offering handshakes is one of the universal business greetings and a positive business trait. With the current pandemic going around the world, verbal and elbow greetings have taken the place of handshakes.

Being mindful of how your colleagues work and respecting their personal space and privacy is a valued trait of modern business manners. A business consists of different people all with different working styles. People desire to work around those that make them comfortable and know how to handle themselves in a variety of situations. Incorporating this business etiquette into your workplace pays dividends both in employee morale and on your business bottom line.

Being polite and professional in all forms of communication be it on emails, face to face, or by phone, is a very essential part of business etiquette. Ensure to keep the messages short and to the point and not to say anything you wouldn’t say in person. Being on time and dressing appropriately are some of the etiquettes that are easily forgotten. Good hygiene and table manners around others are always a bonus. They say a lot about your enthusiasm for your work.

In conclusion, business etiquette may sound like it focuses on small matters, but all put together, they make a difference in the workplace. Improving your business etiquette positively impacts your career. Focus on good manners and common courtesy.