News

Mind your manners: workplace etiquette

Mind your manners: workplace etiquette

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It’s been said that good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. Not surprisingly, there’s a good bit of research to support the point, too.

A recent survey by OfficeTeam found that 80 percent of executives say clothing affects an employee’s chances of earning a promotion. In a separate survey, the company also found that nearly 40 percent of managers do not respond favorably to social media “friend” requests from employees while 46 percent aren’t keen on connecting with their boss on social media.

But leading the way in terms of contributing to poor form in the work place — and not all that surprisingly — is the inappropriate use of technology. In fact, a recent study by Robert Half Technology found that 64 percent of surveyed CIOs said the increased use of mobile devices, including cell phones and tablets, has led to a significant increase in breaches of workplace etiquette.

That’s up from the 51 percent who reported failures in etiquette just three years ago.

It’s for reasons like these that The Protocol School of Washington established Bring Your Manners to Work Day.

Commemorated annually on the first Friday of September, the day is intended to remind employees and employers that manners matter. From talking loudly on one’s cell phone and texting during meetings to dressing inappropriately and showing up late, bad manners aren’t just bad form, their bad for business.

Because it’s statistically important to Bring Your Manners to Work every day, The Protocol School of Washington offers the following dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t cell yell. People tend to speak three times louder on a cell phone than in person. Mind your volume.
  • Do respect people’s personal space while on the phone. A ‘safe cell distance’ is considered to be 10 feet.
  • Don’t check your phone during meals and meetings. Instead keep phones off or on vibrate and pay attention to and engage those around you.
  • Do dress appropriately for the work place. In other words, save the see-through dresses, sandals with socks, Lycra bike shorts, muscle shirts, and plunging necklines for other occasions.
  • Don’t “borrow” from other people’s desks or (dare I even say it) lunches without permission.
  • Do clean up your messes, be it in the kitchen or at the copier, don’t expect others to clean up after you.
  • Don’t gossip. Over-sharing about your own personal life should also be avoided.
  • Do be on time to meetings, conference calls, and appointments.
  • Don’t sink to someone else’s standards. Just because coworkers behave badly is not a reason for you to follow suit. Always keep your poise and do the right thing, even if you’re doing it alone. It matters and will be noticed.

If a coworker’s behavior is infringing upon your ability to perform your job well, address it directly with the individual.

Clearly state how their behavior is impacting you, and, perhaps, others. Kindly request a change of behavior emphasizing how everyone could benefit from it. If the problem persists and is truly more than a mere annoyance, then bring it to the attention of your supervisor.

On the other hand, if a change happens, by all means be sure to say “thank you.”

Pamela Eyring is the president of The Protocol School of Washington (PSOW), which provides professional business etiquette and international protocol training. Founded in 1988, PSOW is the only school of its kind in the U.S. to become accredited.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: July 29

benjerrys

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Sports

Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, center, and V. Stiviano, left, watch the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Saturday, April 26, 2014, that the league is in the process of authenticating the validity of the recording posted on TMZ's website. Bass called the comments "disturbing and offensive."

A judge has ruled against Clippers owner Donald Sterling and cleared the way for the $2 billion sale of the team to Steve Ballmer.

in Music

Glen Matlock denies new Sex Pistols reunion

John Lydon, right, and Glen Matlock of The Sex Pistols perform at the Roxy in West Hollywood, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007.

Sex Pistols star Glen Matlock dashes fans' hopes of another reunion by insisting he hasn't had any contact with John Lydon in five years.

in Music

Aretha Franklin storms out of fast food joint

FILE - In this May 11, 2013 file photo, Aretha Franklin performs during McDonald's Gospelfest 2013 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.Franklin won’t say what has caused her latest health problems, but says she’s had a “miraculous” recovery and is looking forward to performing soon.In a phone interview on Tuesday, Aug. 20, Franklin said that she recently had a cat scan and that it showed she was 85 percent improved. The 71-year-old has canceled several concerts and public appearances and blamed it on unspecified treatment.

Aretha Franklin stormed out a Johnny Rockets in Ontario, Canada last week after a nasty encounter with a rude employee.

in Sports

Byron Scott to lead Lakers…or will he?

FILE - In this April 17, 2013, file photo, then-Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott watches an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C. Scott said this weekend that he has been hired by the Los Angeles Lakers, but the club insisted Sunday, July 27, 2014, that no deal has been reached. Scott, who won three NBA titles as a shooting guard for the Lakers, told KCBS-TV he will take over the club, which hasn't had a coach since Mike D'Antoni resigned April 30.

The club continues to insist that no deal has been reached.

Bellingham Traffic