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What is Work Etiquette?

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 27 Oct 2015 | comments*Discuss
What Is Work Etiquette Work Etiquette

Work etiquette encompasses far more than simply knowing which hands to hold your knife and fork in at a gala dinner. Basically it incorporates all types of manners and behaviour in relation to work dealings such as how you come across as an individual, how you relate to others both within your own organisation and externally and how you make use of the tools with which you can communicate. Etiquette isn’t fixed and rigid. Workplaces are very different when it comes to what’s considered acceptable behaviour and conduct and the formality of etiquette will vary between companies. Likewise, when doing business overseas, a whole new set of rules will often apply.

It’s About People

If you look at all the other articles on this website, you’ll see that there are different established ‘rules’ for things like how to conduct yourself properly at a business lunch or how to write a business letter and whilst there are different accepted forms of etiquette to cover different work situations, when it comes down to it, it’s all about people and creating the right impression. The key element being that, in many situations, you only get one chance to impress and that can make a huge difference in terms of your company’s financial aspirations and how both you and your company are perceived by others.

You Can’t Know It All Straight Away

Whilst we all understand the meaning of good manners and behaviour and how that translates to the work environment, we can’t be expected to know it all straight away. When we begin a new job, we’re all going to know that we best be mindful of our Ps and Qs when it comes to the type of language we use and that we need to take care of things like our personal hygiene but it’s important to try to get underneath the surface of what’s acceptable and what’s frowned upon. Therefore, in a new job, you should be quickly looking to establish your knowledge of the basics as they pertain to that particular company. So, things like what the company dress code is, how managers are addressed, i.e. first name or title and surname, the ‘house style’ for things like memos, e-mails and letters and the rules surrounding lunch and tea breaks are all things that you’ll want to get to know straight away.

The Basics

Initially, the best way to go about learning the etiquette of a particular company is to go in and behave as you would if it was your parents or grandparents observing you. Try to blend in to your new environment as seamlessly as you can by observing the behaviours of others as this is the best way of finding out what is considered acceptable and what isn’t. Get to know your colleagues outside the actual working environment, even if that means just chatting to them in the canteen at break time. The sooner you get to know them, the more quickly you’ll get to understand how the dynamic of your particular company works and how you should conduct yourself.

You shouldn’t get too hung up on work etiquette to the point where you instil a sense of fear and trepidation inside yourself. Basic common sense and decency is all you’re really going to need when you start a new job and the rest you’ll learn quickly as you go along each day. And remember, if you’re unsure about any aspect of what you’re doing, you’ll have colleagues close by who will be only be too happy to help you.

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I just got a job as an Hr manager, though, I had in that fieldbut ve not work in HR dept before. What should I do
hunter - 27-Oct-15 @ 11:02 AM
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