24 Tips For Office Etiquette Training
Having worked my way to the top during my international postings from Guest Service Manager/ Front Office Manager in Holiday Inn then as Executive Assistant Manager and Resident Manager before assuming the role of General Manager in Accor, it is disheartening to see the deterioration of basic etiquette and professionalism in the workplace.
Some say it is just “this generation”. I am not convinced – because I see it in all demographics.
I believe it is a symptom of a culture that is modelled from the top down.
Employees model the behaviours of leadership and an organization’s culture is built off of the behaviours of those who lead the organization.
Office etiquette and professionalism is important because it lays the foundation for productivity, efficiency and cohesiveness.
24 Tips For Office Etiquette Training
1. Knock First
This may sound elementary but I’m amazed at how some people don’t think twice about walking through a closed door without knocking first.
Taking the time to knock first demonstrates respect for the person on the other side of the door.
2. Be Nice
Simply being nice to other people can have a significant impact on the work culture. Many people are dealing with life’s challenges making it so important for us to be nice to each other.
We spend a good portion of our lives with co-workers so let’s just be nice!
3. Answer the Phone
I am always amazed when I see someone in a conversation, their phone rings and they simply allow the call to go to voicemail. Answering the telephone on the first or second ring sends a message that the call is important.
Creating customer service standards helps employees understand the expectation for responding to phone calls. It shouldn’t matter who the caller is, a professional always responds quickly.
4. Don’t Answer Your Cell Phone
Ringing cell phones can be very disruptive in business meetings. Meeting ground rules should include turning off cell phones and waiting until there is a break or the meeting ends to respond to cell phone calls.
Some organizations don’t allow employees to have their phones on their desk or in their work area. This might not be a bad idea.
5. Don’t Interrupt Meetings
Have you ever been in a meeting and someone boldly interrupts?
When a group of employees are in a business meeting, wait until the meeting is finished to interrupt. When people are focused on discussing a topic it is only polite to wait until they are finished.
6. Don’t Interrupt Conversations
Sometimes you are in the middle of a conversation with someone and a co-worker will walk up and interrupt the conversation.
If you approach a couple of people engaged in a conversation, don’t interrupt and politely wait until they are finished.
7. Use Wisdom When Communicating
Sharing sensitive information appropriately can be tricky. Verbal communication is usually more effective than electronic because it minimizes the likelihood of a mis-communication – that can easily happen with email or text.
For example, if you need to inform an employee that their work schedule is changing, a face-to-face conversation will allow them the opportunity to ask questions and eliminate any confusion.
8. Respect Authority
Everyone has a boss. We don’t always agree with the decisions that are made, but it is important to treat those in authority with respect.
Professionals understand the importance of respecting those in authority. Strive to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
9. Speak Quietly
We all know the “loud” person in the office. They often make a commotion without even knowing how distracting they are.
Be aware of your surroundings. When you’re on the phone, conversing in the hallway or visiting a co-worker at their cubicle, be sensitive to others working and speak quietly.
10. Don’t Play Loud Music
Some people work better when they can listen to music. However, we should always be respectful of others in the office.
If you choose to play music at your computer, use head phones instead of your speakers so your music isn’t distracting those people who prefer to work in a quiet environment.
11. Don’t Pace While Talking on Your Cell Phone
Pacing up and down the hallway while talking on the cell phone is rude and distracting.
Personal phone calls should be minimized at work and these conversations should happen in a private area or office.
If you sit in a cubicle, and you get a personal call on your cell phone, you should either excuse yourself to go outside, use a conference room or office.
12. Show Up On Time To Meetings
Being late for meetings is rude and affects the flow of the meeting and team dynamics.
Be considerate of others, and if you are invited to attend a meeting, show up on time.
13. Return Voice Mail Messages
When you get a voice mail message, return it as soon as possible. The person would not have called you if they didn’t need something. Be courteous enough to call them back – as soon as possible.