Workplace etiquette can have a great impact on the atmosphere of an office. A workplace where employees demonstrate poor etiquette can create a negative environment where employees are always in conflict with each other and productivity is low. When employees practice good manners at work, they can thrive professionally. (Of course, it's hard to inspire employees to act properly when you're not a respectful and appreciative manager yourself!)
Here's some ways to help motivate employees to use proper etiquette when dealing with workplace issues.
- Learn the ins and outs of workplace etiquette. You need to know exactly what workplace, or office, etiquette is if you are going to expect your employees to model it. Workplace etiquette is a set of rules or behaviors that when followed results in an attitude of respect towards the people and the work. You need to decide on what rules you think are important and will aid you in contributing to a more positive environment. You can use your common sense and speak to other managers to help you decide what rules you want to uphold.
- Set an example. You will need to follow these rules of etiquette for the office yourself or your employees will never follow them. You are an example to your employees and you need to treat them with respect so they will learn to treat you and their co-workers with respect.
- Inform your employees of the changes. If you are implementing changes in general workplace etiquette, you need to inform your employees of the new workplace etiquette rules. You can do this in a couple of different ways. You can hold a meeting or put out a memo on the new rules. You can elect to do this more casually by making sure you talk to each employee about the new etiquette rules. Most important, try to approach your employees with positive expectations. Be open to feedback and the possibility of making some adjustments to the new rules as a result of that feedback.
- Help resolve conflict. After your employees are aware of the changes and if you continue to experience conflicts, they need to be addressed immediately. You need to explain to your employees the importance of following the established rules and why it will benefit everyone. During each situation, explain to the employees involved what the proper way to handle the situation would have been. Do this in as non-judgmental of a way as possible.
- If it's a bumpy road. If your new workplace etiquette rules aren't an immediate hit, then you may need to give them some additional time or reinforce with employees the importance of workplace etiquette and manners. There are also additional resources such as the book, Business Etiquette for Dummies by Sue Fox. Be sure to share your resources with your employees.
These business etiquette tips should help you encourage respectful attitudes amongst your employees. You may initially experience resistance, but your employees will thank you once these rules are regularly and consistently enforced. The workplace will now be a place where everyone feels welcome and productive.