Bad Manners = Bad Business

- January 8, 2013 2 MIN READ

Etiquette in the workplace is not always present in most people. When starting a new business sometimes we forget that how we treat our employees plays a major part in building camaraderie in the office. Behaving in the workplace with courteousness and respect is an essential part of developing a professional brand and being recognised as authentic and likeable.

Here are 6 BASIC tips to office etiquette and manners:

Hierarchy status: The notion of hierarchy is less important in Australia than in many other western countries. The golden rule is that everyone is part of the company and should be treated the equally. Always treat the receptionist, personal assistants, cleaners etc. the same way you treat the top executive. A smile and “Good Morning” is always appreciated.
Political correctness: Because Australia is a multi-cultural society it is important to familiarise yourself with political correctness. These include using proper terminology when referring to ethnic groups, avoiding telling jokes that key off sexual, religious or racial stereo­types etc.

Rude language: As an individual you many view it okay to include a swear word during conversation – “sh*t”, “bl**dy”, “f**k”. In an office environment where swearing can be considered as offensive, discriminative and inappropriate it is recommended that you – stop and think before you speak. If you are about to swear then it is better to say nothing at all.

Elevator manners: If you see a colleague attempting to enter the elevator when the doors are about to shut. Press the open button and step back into the elevator so there is enough room for others. If you are the person they have held the lift for don’t forget to say, “thank you”.

Phone manners: It is always good business to pick up the phone and personally speak to a client or colleague. But everyone else in the office does not need to hear the conversation. Keep your volume and tone to a respectable limit.

Greeting people: We often need to be reminded that people have feelings and appreciate a simple “hello”, “please,” thank you” and “you’re welcome”. When you head home for the day a “goodbye” is a great way to end the working day.

A study co-authored by Barbara Griffin, an organizational psychologist with the University of Western Sydney, found that one in five people surveyed had experienced bad manners at work at least once a month.

“Our research found that victims of bad manners or incivility are less engaged at work, less committed to their organisation, not as prepared to go the extra mile and more likely to resign,” said Barbara Griffin.

As a business owner it is your job to educate yourself and lead by example. If you are a entrepreneurs with a new venture in 2013 remember – ultimately bad manners = bad business.