Thinking beyond “Bring Your Manners to Work Day”
In an era where technology often blurs the lines between personal and professional communication, "Bring Your Manners to Work Day" emerges as a timely reminder of the importance of courtesy, respect, and professionalism in the workplace. It is the ideal time for managers or business owners to make sure they communicate expectations about etiquette and behaviors that are an important part of their organization’s desired culture. Celebrated annually on the first Friday of September, this day also serves as an opportunity for individuals to reflect on their behavior and interactions within the professional sphere.
We realize this communication is arriving after the actual day is celebrated. We believe that good manners should be practiced every day, creating a positive work environment on a regular basis. Our premier program, Jobs For Michigan’s Graduates (JMG), is centered around teaching and reinforcing several competencies or “human skills” that prepare youth for success in future careers.
We’ve identified a list of our Top 10 Timeless Tips for Manners in the Workplace:
1. Respectful Communication: Effective communication is the cornerstone of a harmonious workplace. Treating colleagues and superiors with respect in conversations, emails, and meetings is crucial. Listen actively, avoid interrupting, and offer thoughtful responses. Use appropriate language, refrain from sarcasm, and maintain a respectful tone even when discussing disagreements. Demonstrating patience and attentiveness shows that you value your colleagues' perspectives and fosters a collaborative atmosphere.
2. Punctuality: Time management is a sign of professionalism. Arriving on time for meetings, deadlines, and work shifts reflects your commitment to your role and the team's success. Being punctual not only demonstrates respect for others' time but also enhances your reputation as a reliable and dedicated employee.
3. Courtesy in Meetings: Meetings are an essential part of workplace communication. Displaying good manners during meetings involves arriving on time, actively participating, and refraining from using electronic devices for unrelated matters. Show appreciation for others' input by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and acknowledging their ideas. Avoid dominating conversations or speaking out of turn. These behaviors contribute to an inclusive and respectful environment.
4. Professional Appearance: Your appearance significantly influences how you are perceived at work. Dressing appropriately for your role and the company culture sends a message that you take your job seriously. Neatness, cleanliness, and adherence to any dress code policies contribute to a polished and professional image.
5. Gratitude and Recognition: Expressing gratitude can go a long way in fostering positive workplace relationships. Acknowledge the efforts of your colleagues, superiors, and subordinates by thanking them for their contributions. Whether it's a small gesture like a thank-you note or a sincere verbal expression, appreciation enhances camaraderie and motivates others.
6. Empathy and Consideration: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Displaying empathy in the workplace involves considering your colleagues' perspectives, challenges, and feelings. Offer support when needed, and avoid making assumptions or passing judgment. A workplace characterized by empathy is more likely to be supportive and collaborative.
7. Conflict Resolution: Conflicts are inevitable, but how they are handled can make a significant difference in maintaining a positive work environment. Approach conflicts with a calm and open mindset. Listen to all parties involved, avoid blaming, and focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on the issues. Treating conflicts as opportunities for growth and understanding demonstrates maturity and respect for all involved.
8. Mindful Use of Technology: In the digital age, proper etiquette extends to online communication. Use email, messaging platforms, and social media with caution and professionalism. Avoid using informal language or sharing personal content in work-related communications. Additionally, be mindful of the timing of your communications, refraining from sending emails or messages during non-business hours unless absolutely necessary. Are you using virtual meetings? We’ve put together some simple strategies for better virtual meetings that you can access here.
9. Active Participation: Engage actively in company activities, events, and initiatives. Participating demonstrates your commitment to the organization's success and helps build a sense of community among colleagues. Attend team-building events, workshops, and social gatherings to foster relationships beyond the confines of work tasks.
10. Mentorship and Guidance: Seek out trusted advisors to help you navigate your work assignments. As you progress in your career, consider offering mentorship and guidance to less experienced colleagues. Sharing your knowledge, experiences, and advice contributes to a culture of continuous learning and growth. It also reinforces the idea that professionalism involves not only personal conduct but also supporting the growth of others.
"Bring Your Manners to Work Day" serves as a reminder that good manners are integral to creating an inclusive and productive workplace. Practicing respect, courtesy, and professionalism in all interactions contributes to a positive work environment where individuals feel valued and motivated. By implementing these tips and fostering a culture of mutual respect, everyone can contribute to a workplace that thrives on collaboration and positivity throughout the year.
What other manners have we missed? Share your tips for how you encourage or use manners in your workplace on our social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow our Youth Solutions Twitter and Facebook pages as well!