by Anna Post
Reposted from my discussion group this week on The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics' website.
Friday: Top Manners Important to a Civil WorkplaceToday I promised to leave you with some of the top manners I teach to reinforce civility in the workplace. Though I've talked a lot about how a civil workplace needs to come from the top to become the company standard, regardless of the environment we are in, we can each choose how we will act and respond to others; we can hold ourselves to a personal standard. (This applies whether we are at work or not.)
I work from the assumption that everyone I teach knows the following list already. The question is whether they are already engaging with these, or whether they need to reinvest after a lag.
Some of the top standard social expectations in the American workplace are as follows:
- Greet each other with a smile and/or hello.
- Respect each other's privacy; knock before entering.
- Focus on your colleague (not your smart phone) when you are in a meeting.
- Be on time.
- Identify yourself on the phone.
- Pick up after yourself.
- Speak quietly (but don't whisper!) in an open office/cubical environment.
- Keep cell phones off or set to vibrate or silent.
- Take personal calls in a private area.
- Don't use IM or email to avoid a problem.
- Keep shared calendars up to date and free of private appointments.
- Use salutations, please, and thank you in emails.
- Fridge rules: If you put it in, you can take it out.
These manners are written for the internal workplace, though many can carry over into client relationships. These are also basic, and that's the point. The basics are the foundation of a civil workplace, and though we've all heard them before, they don't do us any good if we aren't using them.
For our last discussion, I invite you to add to this list. Many thanks for all of your interest and participation this week.