As a manager, you can set good examples of office etiquette for your team by remembering the basic manners you learned in the early stage of learning. Pay attention when someone’s speaking to you, and if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.
If your staff is not following your lead, you are not alone. Senior managers once said they notice a lack of common courtesy when workers run late or miss meetings (34 percent), don’t respond to calls or emails in a timely manner (26 percent) and gossip about others (23 percent).
The following are the ways to improve office etiquette:
Be punctual and pay attention:
Try to arrive a few minutes early to start your workday or join a business meeting. Whether you’re leading or attending the meeting, make sure you aren’t distracted by calls, emails, texts or side conversations. Unless you’re making a presentation, don’t monopolize the discussion, and don’t allow anyone else to, either.
Discourage gossip and public criticism:
Gossip says more about the person sharing it than the person it is about. So give a clear message to your team that not only won’t you share in gossip, defined as casual or unrestrained reports typically involving personal details that are not confirmed as being true, but you disapprove of it.
Be mindful and courteous:
You should be mindful that scents travel. If you share a refrigerator, cover your food to make it airtight, and toss out your old food and beverages at the end of each week.
Other potential distractions like Speakerphones, loud voices, ringing phones that aren’t picked up, conversations or loitering next to desks, messy desks and cluttered workspaces.
You can also be courteous by acknowledging your colleagues when they help you and give them credit when appropriate. Build healthy mentoring relationships, get to know your employees and pay attention to them.
Communicate with class:
Keep your language clean, no matter how comfortable you are with your team or how casual your office is. Make sure you know how to properly pronounce employee or customer names. Consider your audience when you use humor, sarcasm, irony, puns and wordplay. Set workplace standards for email and phone communication. Encourage two-way communication and listening. Be open to input from your staff; in fact, ask for it. Express gratitude in person when possible.
And yawning while someone is talking to you? Well, sometimes that can’t be helped, but you can see how it looks.
Show respect for down time:
Going to work sick does more harm than good. It will only make you feel worse, your productivity will be lowered, and you could spread your germs to the rest of the office. Use your sick days, and stay home when you’re sick.
You can be a better boss by demonstrating work-life balance. Unless it’s an emergency, avoid late-night phone calls and emails, especially if you expect the recipient to respond after hours. Keep reasonable business hours and expect others to do the same.