As times change, so do social norms for personal and professional behavior, but that doesn’t mean basic etiquette doesn’t matter. Performance and quality are important, too, of course, but not exclusively. We sometimes forget that business is about people. There is no shortage of competent and reliable people in the business world and manners can make the difference.
The importance of business etiquette cannot be overemphasized at a workplace. At the workplace, it will boil down to working professionally, maintaining proper manners and engage with co-workers in a spirit of cooperation and respect. The thing about business etiquette is that it is easily noticeable. When you practice workplace etiquette, you are bound to stand out among a sea of employees and increases your chance to achieve greater success. It helps to foster long lasting relationships not just with employees but also with vital stakeholders and clients.
A congenial work environment is a productive and highly beneficial place to be in and failure to demonstrate good business etiquette should be like the typical roadblocks in the way of success. It is significant from the viewpoint to building rapport and a solid foundation within the business community. An employee demonstrates the same will actively listen, provide constructive feedback and display confidence in their conversations
It also encompasses the verbal and non-verbal cues. The person needs to be mindful to pick up the cues as and they converse with a stakeholder. It is about appropriate dressing and appearance which is not offensive and uncomfortable for others in the workplace, given a diverse workforce. Different companies and job roles would require business etiquette at a different level. For eg- a customer service, sales job role would require employees to have heightened awareness of business etiquette.
It also includes maintaining the professional conduct while communicating across different various channels of social media. In today’s era where social media has become an indispensable part of our lives, it is essential that we mindfully make use of the same and don’t post sensitive information that may hurt the interests of various groups. Corporates need to clearly define guideline and rules at workplace that helps employees to differentiate when a certain behavior is an violation of etiquette.
This concept is well captured in the ABC model of professional etiquette which stands for Appearance, Behavior, Communication.
Here is a quick tip to ensure you are practicing business etiquette
- A handshake is still the professional standard – Not only does this simple gesture demonstrate that you’re polite, confident and approachable, it also sets the tone for any potential future professional relationship.
- Acknowledge others – When someone approaches you, acknowledge him or her. If you’re in the middle of something important, it’s fine to ask them to wait a minute while you finish.
- Avoid the “Big Two.” – We have blurred many of the personal and professional lines, but politics and religion are still off-limits. These topics are highly charged minefields for a professional atmosphere. Leave them at the office door.
- Be on time – Being punctual shows others that you value their time. Being late doesn’t mean that you’re busier than other people; it just means that you’re inconsiderate.
The list can go on. However, there are just a few things most employees can ensure they are doing right.