Do you respect your boss? You’d be surprised but a lot of people have a hard time answering that question. Back in the day respecting your boss was natural, in fact there seemed to be no two-way about it.
But even in today’s day and age one important facet of workplace etiquette is to respect your superiors and your colleagues.
Recognize that common courtesy is as modern today as it was in the past. The DesMoinesRegister.com offers 10 workplace etiquette tips on “how to conduct yourself at work and with other professionals”:
1. Say thanks when you have something to be thankful for. Yes, you should send a hand-written thank you card after meeting with a potential employer or after a special meeting. Keep it short, simple and to the point — three sentences is all you need, advises Jeff Fleming, director of the Des Moines Art Center. If it’s a boss, supervisor or co-worker who did something you’re grateful for, an email will suffice, and be appreciated.
2. If you can’t make it on time, let your supervisor know. A casual after-work affair where you’re asked to swing by between 5 and 7 p.m. is one thing, but if you’re asked to be somewhere at a certain time, be there, or inform your supervisor first if you won’t be. Don’t ever just skip. Your supervisor will notice if you completely ditch the event, Fleming said.
3. Be courteous of your cube-mates. If you’re working in close quarters, being respectful of your co-workers has several good effects. “The more you can promote a more team-like atmosphere, even if you don’t work in teams, the more enjoyable your work will be,” said Sandy Hatfield Clubb, athletic director at Drake University. “Ask if they mind what you hang on your walls. Be aware of the loudness of your voice when you’re talking on the phone. Make sure your furniture doesn’t impede on their furniture.”
4. Respect the fridge. You shouldn’t have to ask, “Who ate my yogurt?” “If you didn’t put it in the fridge, it’s not yours to eat,” Clubb said. “It doesn’t matter how long it’s been in there — yogurt, cheese — it’s not yours.”
5. Be prepared when asking for a raise.Want a promotion? Schedule a time to meet, tell your supervisor why you want to meet, and come prepared, Fleming said. “Be prepared to back up why you want a raise,” he said. “And be prepared to be flexible. Don’t be upset if you aren’t successful the first time.”
6. It’s a work party, not a keg party. At the annual work picnic, use caution before opening that next cold one. “Every organization has its own culture,” Clubb said. “If you’re new to it, get to know it a little bit before completely indulging.” Clubb said she’s worked for organizations where co-workers like to party, and for those who are poised through a company event, and then may gather in a smaller group for drinks elsewhere.
7. Pay attention at meetings. You’re at a meeting for a reason — to engage and offer ideas. Constantly glancing at your phone or iPadisn’t going to allow you to do that. While Fleming says it’s acceptable to bring your phone to a meeting, don’t look at it — it’s for emergency use only.
8. Respect your boss, no matter how bad it hurts. “Books have been written on this, and I’m not the expert,” Fleming said. “But don’t, as an employee, lower yourself to the standards of your boss. Being straightforward and honest is the only way to go.”
9. Use your manners at the table. If you’re on a business lunch, don’t talk with your mouth full, don’t interrupt, and don’t order the most expensive item on the menu. Hopefully, these are all common sense. If you’ve invited someone to lunch that you are hoping to gain something from, expect to foot the bill. “If I were asking for advice or soliciting something, I would offer to pay,” Clubb said. “But if you’re just meeting with someone who you keep bumping into, or haven’t seen in awhile, going dutch is fine.”
10. Respect the dress code. Not only does arriving to an event dressed inappropriately make others feel uncomfortable, it’s a bad reflection on you.
Leading Toronto etiquette authority, Corporate Class Inc.’s workplace etiquette classes teach your employees the unspoken rules of work along with other etiquette essentials including the responsibilities of both attending and chairing meetings; creating a positive impression visiting or receiving clients; building and maintaining a good reputation and more.
Talk to Toronto etiquette expert, Diane Craig, and learn how workplace etiquette training can help impact your bottom line.