Do your employees sometimes make you want to pull your hair out? Maybe it’s that annoying cell phone ring tone that keeps buzzing in the next cubicle. Or the seemingly ‘private’ conversation a young worker is having that floats around as new office gossip the next day.
Believe or not, violating workplace etiquette can cause rifts in the workplace, dampen team building and decrease work productivity.
The thing is employees need to know the rules of workplace etiquette; in most cases people don’t intentionally intend to be rude or annoying – sometimes they don’t even know they’re doing it.
If you’re the HR manager for your firm you should take workplace etiquette very seriously, and a workplace etiquette training class or seminar for your employees is a great start.
Until then here are a few tips from the Star Tribune, that you could take action on now:
To have a positive environment, first take a look at yourself. When thinking about being a good office mate, are there places where you fall short? For example, perhaps you tend toward the quiet side. Keep in mind that going to the far edge of not even greeting people will send a negative message. Nor do you want to be the person people avoid because you don’t know when to stop talking.
When considering others’ breaches of etiquette, ask yourself if you’re over-reacting. Remember, this isn’t about intentional poor behavior, and you may be better served by just taking a few deep breaths.
Now your team needs to work together. Consider having a “manners time” in your staff meeting. People could bring articles about etiquette breaches to raise awareness of faux pas that may be occurring. Also think about having a set of defined ground rules — office dos and don’ts that you all agree on.
Once these rules are in place, also agree on protocols for breaches. Maybe you have a dollar jar for loud ring tones or speakerphones, and use the money for an office party or charity. Or just an expectation that if you slip up, someone will gently remind you.
Customized for your unique needs, you’ll pinch yourself for not organizing an etiquette class like this sooner (especially when that annoying cell phone ring tone finally stops buzzing).