Do you work in an office or does your job take you all over? Is your work environment laid back, intense or something in between? No matter your organization’s culture or industry norms, certain codes of social and professional conduct apply; if not at your workplace, at conferences, meetings and in online interactions on behalf of your company.
National Business Etiquette Week is June 2 through June 8, and we’re offering a few etiquette reminders along with tips for navigating the potentially tricky social media terrain.
Subtle Acts of Kindness
Inc. Magazine highlights softer displays of business etiquette aimed at cultivating more personalized relationships in the workplace. What’s interesting to note is how small subtleties in your interactions with others can make a big difference. For example, sending a simple thank you card the day after your meeting is a nice way to demonstrate your interest in not only the topic of discussion, but also the other person.
The Golden Rule
You learned it in first grade and it still applies all these years later, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Would overhearing your co-worker’s personal phone conversations throughout the morning distract you? Would the aroma of pastrami wafting across your open office layout dampen your productivity as it lingers in the air long after lunch? It’s best to be considerate of others, especially when performing tasks that might impact your colleague’s ability to work.
Lost in Translation
You’re probably familiar with stories of salespeople visiting foreign countries spouting phrases and performing gestures with entirely different (and sometimes offensive) meanings in the host country. Situations like this set a bad tone and could put lucrative contracts in jeopardy. Do yourself and your company a favor – before boarding the plane, study up on the country’s culture and ways of doing business to avoid potentially embarrassing or costly mistakes.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, the list goes on and on. As useful as these sites are for promotional, branding and customer service purposes, that same ease of use and all too casual tone can have serious, albeit unintended, consequences. You’ll be well served to re-read, run a spell check, and ask yourself if the post is hurtful or offensive prior to posting. And do you know the proper way to handle user comments or how many hashtags are appropriate for your Tweets? Hubspot covers these and more in its social media etiquette guide.
Regardless of your company or job, a certain level of professionalism is required when conducting business both inside and outside the workplace.