Business Etiquette And Workplace Ethics

Before understanding business etiquette, you must, first of all, understand what etiquette is all about. According to Robin Glover (2018), “Etiquette is defined as a good behavior which distinguishes the human being from animal”. As human beings, we are social animals and we need to behave appropriately.

Business etiquette
Business etiquette is the set of rules or guidelines that oversee how individuals communicate with each other in business, with clients, etc. The way you behave says a lot about your professionalism. Business etiquette is significant on the ground that it creates a professional, respectful atmosphere and improves communication between workmates or within and outside the business setting.

Principles of business etiquette

  1. Respect: This includes recognizing another person worth and doing deliberate acts to show you care about someone else. “Respect for ourselves guilds our morals but respect for others guilds our manners” – Laurence Sterne. Signs of respect include: listening without interrupting, speaking appropriately, giving full attention, and shaking hands.
  2. Honesty: This is the act of being fair and truthful. Acting sincerely.
  3. Consideration this implies having compassion for someone else and acting through insightful conduct while connecting with another person.

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Types of business etiquette

  1. General workplace etiquette: These are rules which guide your manners at the office and they vary from one office to another. This means that what is acceptable in one office may not be acceptable in another. To improve your workplace etiquette, you have to make the do’s and don’ts at your workplace known to all the staff, create an environment of confidence, and promote healthy interaction between Staffs.
  2. Dinning and table manners etiquette: many job interviews are conducted over the dining and without the knowledge of table manners etiquette you are bound to fail. There are a lot more which I can not cover here about dining and table manners etiquette, hence, I suggest you read books on dining table etiquette to gain more advanced knowledge. Here are some of the basic table manners rules you need to know.
    I. Put your napkin on your lap when you sit down. I know men like to tug their napkin on their shirts but it is not advisable when having business dinner.
    II. Oder things in a comparative value range to your eating associates.
    III. Don’t start eating until everyone has gotten their food.
    IV. Pass sauces and dishes from the left to right instead of across the table.
    V. Chew with your mouth close.
    VI. After dining, fold your napkin and put it to one side of your plate.
  3. Telephone etiquette: Be polite when on the phone and don’t speak too loudly or too softly. In case you are on a conference call and you are not talking, mute yourself.
  4. Email etiquette
    I. Avoid mass mailing as it usually ends up in spam.
    II. Abstain from overusing shout imprints and smiley faces.
    III. Intent to reply to Internal emails within a day and external emails within three days.

Importance of business etiquette

  1. Business etiquette helps in building strong relationships.
  2. Business etiquette helps foster better communication in a business atmosphere.
  3. It promotes a positive atmosphere where everyone treats one another with respect and sensitivity.
  4. Business etiquette helps to prevent misunderstanding with everyone acting professionally.
  5. It creates standard strategic policies at all degrees of your corporate echelon.

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8 Key Etiquette Behavior Expected of Any Individual in An Organization

  • Punctuality
  • Accountability
  • Focus
  • Initiative
  • Productivity
  • Dedication
  • Desire to improve
  • Professionalism

Workplace Ethics

Workplace ethics are the set of rules, values, morals, principles, and standard that needs to be followed by both employers and employees in the workplace.

General Workplace Principles

  1. Privacy: you are entitled to your privacy.
  2. Health: good workplace enhances health and wellbeing.
  3. Fair play: actively include the individuals who accomplish the work in decision making.
  4. Fairness: there shouldn’t be any form of favoritism.
  5. Freedom of speech.

Lapses in Workplace Ethics

  • Preferential treatment
  • Gossiping
  • Dishonesty
  • Harassment
  • Selfishness.

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