Top Etiquette Rules for Better Working Relationships

Workplace Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts in the Workplace

Let's face it, work takes up the majority of your time –– and the relationships and interactions you have with your colleagues can play a significant role in your mood, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.

Interestingly enough, workplace manners are changing –– and unfortunately, not for the better. With the pandemic, many people have been out of touch with their social skills, while others are looking to keep their personal lives, well, personal. And when these circumstances are brought into the workplace, it can lead to conflict and negative working relationships.

In light of the increasing number of people returning to work in a physical office space, full-time or hybrid, workplace etiquette should be a priority for employees and employers alike. Continue reading to learn about the dos and don’ts in the office, and how you can foster a positive environment that makes it enjoyable for all. 

Don’t: Make assumptions about the way things work

If you have been at your current company for an extended period of time, it is easy to assume you know the ins and outs of a workplace. Yet, over the last few years, most workplaces experienced changes that have impacted their processes and culture. The best thing to do is ask managers and colleagues about the current environment to gauge how to interact.

Do: Get to know the workplace processes and culture

Self-reflection is a great way to observe your own behavior in the office and look for areas of improvement. Ask yourself: is how I engage with my colleagues still appropriate or how do I need to change? What behaviors, competencies and values are now required to be successful?  Alternatively, how do you need to adjust to more closely reflect the company's values? By asking yourself these questions, you can start to find your place and make a positive difference in the way your teams interact.

Don’t: Seem uninterested or disengaged

While it may have nothing to do with the job itself, seeming uninterested while at work shows a lack of workplace etiquette. It can make others feel as though you do not respect or value them, or simply make your co-workers question your commitment to the team. In some cases, this may be a sign of workplace burnout and should be addressed quickly, in order to help employees feel motivated and inspired again.

Do: Be attentive and responsive

Rather than disconnecting while at work, be attentive and responsive. Practice good listening skills, put your phone away, and engage in the conversation. These actions not only show respect for your colleagues, but also shows your appreciation for what they have to share. Remember, a little mindfulness can go a long way when looking to improve your active listening skills. 

Learn More: How Company Culture Promotes Employee Engagement

Don’t: Participate in workplace gossip

In reality, nothing good comes out of gossip, especially in the workplace –– and in many cases, it can even come back to bite you! To avoid participating in gossip, consciously make an effort to identify when gossiping is taking place and simply refuse to engage. While it may seem harmless, ultimately, it creates a negative working environment for the organization as a whole and has the power to ruin reputations, divide the group, and lead to a lack of trust among co-workers. 

Do: Set a professional tone 

Rather than gossiping, think about what you want people to think of you and create an image that accurately reflects those traits. Avoid oversharing about your personal life, and focus on representing yourself in a professional way. The key to developing strong working relationships is to find the perfect balance between remaining personable and professional. 

Related: Business Insights: Our Words Matter 

Don’t: Allow remote work to hinder communication

With the sudden shift to virtual work, it can be easy to let relationships grow apart. Maybe you feel it is easier to talk to someone in the office or simply struggle to find a time that is convenient for both parties to meet. But, by leaving your remote teams in the dark, you’re doing more harm than you may be aware of. Whether people are working in the office or still working remotely, there needs to be consistency in communication. If not, these breakdowns in communication could easily become the reason top talent walks out the door.

Do: Be inclusive of all employees for better communication

The key to communicating with hybrid or remote teams lies in establishing a process and working together to put that plan into action. Early on, set up regular check-ins with your teams to prevent miscommunication and keep everyone on the same page. This way, no one feels out of the loop, regardless of where they are working from.

Learn More: Taking DEI to the Next Level in Your Company Culture

Don’t: Exaggerate your abilities

Avoid overstating your abilities in order to prevent problems later on. Trust us, no one wants to jeopardize the success of a project because you wanted to try and impress your boss. It is perfectly okay to ask questions if you do not know something –– it could spark a conversation, bring up some interesting ideas, and help solve problems.

Do: Remain authentic 

Rather than embellishing your abilities, or hiding the fact that you do not understand something, focus on being open and honest with your teams. This sincerity will only add to your credibility, and create a sense of trust with your fellow team members. When you embrace authenticity in all areas of your professional career, your relationships flourish. 

Professional Development with Kinsley Sarn

At Kinsley Sarn, we believe in giving employees the right tools to succeed. Our executive assessment services can help you identify and develop their competencies and skills to determine their readiness for promotion or placement within the company. This approach allows you to make informed decisions that set your organization up for success. 

To learn more about how our team can help you foster a working environment that is dynamic, engaging, and a place people want to grow for years to come, schedule a time to meet with us. We will sit down and understand your hiring and retention needs to drive positive results for your business. Click the button below to contact us today.

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