Workplace etiquette exists because a business has a financial incentive to make sure a workplace minds its manners and co-workers are polite to one another. This has both positive direct benefits to the company and indirect benefits. While the definition of polite may vary depending on the workplace, all business managers should strive to create an atmosphere of mutual respect.
Businesses are interested in being efficient. Not only do good manners create a pleasant working environment, they often streamline communication. Manners provide a standardized system for how people talk to each other and interact in other forms of communication. Efficient communication cuts down on time lost due to confusion and miscommunications.
Politeness and good manners improve office morale. Employees enjoy coming to work when they are treated in a professional, respectful manner by their co-workers. A workplace with good morale has a number of benefits, all of which improve the bottom line. Not only are employees motivated, but teamwork improves, leading to greater productivity.
Co-workers who respect each other have a better chance of making customers feel like they are respected. In a business, particularly one that places an emphasis on customer service, employees may find it difficult to act one way with their co-workers and act another way with their customers. If their behavior in the workplace is crass or boorish, there is a strong likelihood that this negative behavior will bleed into an employee's conduct toward customers.
The line between crude humor and sexual harassment is often paper thin. Sometimes, jokes that are meant as humor offend employees or make them feel unsafe. For this reason, it is better for a workplace to remain polite and professional. By restricting employees from engaging in sophomoric behavior, a manager minimizes the chance that the company will become the object of a lawsuit by a harassed employee.
- Mind Tools: Good Manners in the Office
- Forbes: Office Etiquette: Tips to Overcome Bad Manners at Work
- Essentials of Business Communication; Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy
- Photo Credit Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images
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