Business etiquettes are essential business skills that need to be honed into all the employees, especially in the modern, laid-back work culture where much of the rules are seen as antiquated and unnecessary. It might not be obvious on the surface, but many organisations still maintain implicit rules for professional and social conduct. Therefore here is all you need to know about workplace etiquette.
Importance of Business Etiquettes
Good business etiquettes have organisational benefits that extend from the employees to the clients. Here are reasons why office etiquette rules are needed.
1. Builds Strong Relationships
Professional conduct helps build good and strong relationships among the staff, management and clients as strong etiquettes signal honest and fair behaviour with everyone. Honesty is a quality that builds trust and liking among people which eventually leads to the loyalty of the clients.
2. Fosters Positive Work Atmosphere
Good business etiquettes promote a positive working atmosphere. When the management and the staff treat each other with respect, it leads to a more relaxed atmosphere where everybody can perform to their fullest. When employees feel appreciated and comfortable, their productivity and teamwork will improve.
3. Reflects Confidence
Refined business etiquettes are an indicator of confidence, and the person is seen as composed and knows what to speak in any given situation. A confident manager who deals well with upset customers will make them feel more secure and improve the company’s marketability while diffusing the situation.
4. Prevents Misunderstandings
As everybody in the company is required to behave professionally, it helps avoid misunderstandings among the staff. It encourages people to speak honestly and clearly and discourages them from tilting toward unnecessary jokes or snide language.
11 Business Etiquettes Rules You Must Follow
Having the right etiquettes sets the tone of engagement with clients, customers or co-workers in any business setting. There are numerous types of business etiquette that professionals need to learn and they are as follows:
1. Make an Effort to Remember Names
One of the most important corporate etiquette, especially as a newcomer is to remember people’s names. It is particularly useful when working in a large organisation when you’re likely to meet and work with dozens of people from different teams. People appreciate it if you remember their name; after the first meet, it leaves a positive impression. Always remember to introduce yourself with your full name and if possible, get to know their full name as well, so there’s little confusion.
2. Greet People
Greeting people that you run into at work is more than just a polite gesture; it’s an important communication etiquette that builds rapport. Something as basic as a “Hi, how are you?” or a simple smile or nod is enough to help you establish yourself as a warm and friendly person. It’s a good way to make an impression on everyone as you’ll never know who the person you greeted would turn out to be, greet everybody with the same level of openness and honesty.
3. Handshake and Eye Contact
Handshakes can go a long way in establishing an impression on the other person. In business, it’s universal, and the age-old notion that a firm handshake is positive still holds well, while a weak one shows lack of interest or confidence. The higher ranking person is often the first to initiate a handshake if not, you can still initiate that. Making eye contact during the handshake is essential, it establishes you as confident and trustworthy while averting the yes speaks the opposite.
4. Pay Attention When People Speak
When someone speaks, listen to what they have to say and don’t forget to smile and nod. This ensures that they know you’re listening to them actively and that you care about what it is that they have to say. This is basic etiquette whether you agree with them or not. It’s more important not to interrupt them. When you wish to speak, send a non-verbal cue such as slightly opening your mouth, or listen and wait for them to finish.
5. Display Impeccable Behaviour at meetings
How you conduct yourself during business meetings can leave a long-lasting impression on everyone. Therefore, it’s critical to get the meeting etiquette right. Punctuality comes first, and you should rehearse thoroughly what it is that you have to say. Keep things concise, so you don’t waste time. Avoid looking at your phone and speak loud enough to make yourself heard and not so loud that you come across as aggressive. Do not ask a series of questions just before the meeting is up; some may feel held-up if they’re ready to leave.
6. Keep it Professional At The Dinner Table As Well
We often let down our guard at the dinner table with colleagues or clients; it’s easy to do that after a long work day and a glass of wine. However, business lunch and dinner etiquettes require us to remember that we still represent our company; however informal the setting might be. Consider what you speak especially after a drink or two, never talk with your mouth full and always be polite to the waiting staff.
7. Dress Appropriately
Among the most important business manners is dressing right for work. Although the dress code for different companies differs based on geography or culture, some of the fundamentals remain the same. Clothes must be clean and pressed without any loose threads, and the shoes should be decently polished. Look at the people in the office for some ideas and remember the saying- “you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have”.
8. Email Etiquettes
Just like everything else, there is business email etiquette that needs to be followed when composing emails or replying to them. Always answer internal emails within a day and external emails within 3 days. It’s best not to use smileys in email and avoid overusing exclamation marks. Make it a habit to ‘reply’ and not ‘reply all’. The reply-all must only be reserved for important information; nobody likes having their email inbox overrun with emails that are no longer relevant to them. Remember to exclude those who don’t need to see your reply.
9. Avoid Gossip
Gossiping and eavesdropping are juvenile behaviours which can quickly make you unpopular in the workplace. Although people don’t remember who starts the rumour, they always know who spreads it; therefore if you hear rumours, do not pass it on. If you happen to be in a place where your co-workers are talking unaware of your presence, make sure you let them know of your presence politely, so it doesn’t seem like you’re eavesdropping.
10. Be Polite and Kind
Other basic business etiquette tips is to remember to say “please” and “thank you” wherever necessary and not overuse it. Politeness shows that you are considerate towards others around you and can make a huge difference in how you are perceived. Remember to avoid discussing sensitive matters such as religion or politics even when you disagree with others.
11. Business Travel
Of the business travel etiquette to keep in mind are punctuality, attire, mannerisms and common sense. Arrive on time and dress appropriately for the event, if you’re unsure research about what goes for respectable business attire in the country. Stay professional both at meetings and at the table. Most of all use common sense in every situation to avoid making basic mistakes.
Although the rules above seem a bit obvious, it’s easy to forget some of them at times. Most business etiquettes have a foundation of empathy and respect. When in doubt, put yourself in the other’s shoes and analyse your own behaviour.