2 ObjectivesTo define workplace etiquette and stress the importance of creating a work environment conducive to positive interaction among employeesTo identify behaviors considered important for maintaining workplace etiquetteTo develop skills in addressing coworkers’ behaviors that are unpleasant, rude or offensive
4 How Do You Score?I say “good morning” to co-workers when I enter the office each morning.I clean up after I use the kitchen, cafeteria or snack area.I say “thank you” when someone does something nice for me.I arrive on time for meetings.I keep my anger under control.
5 6. I think it’s okay to tell jokes about race or sex as long as they are tasteful. 7. I think it’s okay to “drop in” on co-workers if I feel I have something I want to tell or ask them.8. If I send an message, I make sure that it is relevant, appropriate, clear, and checked for spelling and grammatical errors.9. I am respectful of co-workers’ workspace, e.g., not using their desks or computer, separating my belongings from theirs.10. I make promises to others that I am unable to keep.
6 Scoring Q 1-5: 1 point for True; 0 for False Q 6, 7: 1 point for False; 0 for TrueQ 8, 9: 1 point for True; 0 for FalseQ 10: 1 point for False; 0 for True
7 Score Interpretation0-5 Uh oh, it’s time for charm school. Seriously, you seem to be committing a number of etiquette faux pas. Hasn’t anyone said anything to you about your behavior? If you keep it up, your career is probably going nowhere (and you may not have a job).6-8 Not bad. You seem to have your office manners mostly in control. But don’t stop here—take a look at areas you can improve upon and you should see your career rolling forward.9-10 Congratulations! You are probably one of those people described as “a pleasure to work with.” Your mannerly behavior and sensitivity to others should move you far along on the road to success.
9 Employees Are Bothered by Co-workers Who: Have poor personal hygieneLeave old and/or spoiled food in the refrigeratorDon’t clean up after using the office kitchen, sink, restroom or appliancesLeave trash or personal belongings in other people’s work spacesDon’t follow through when they say they will do somethingDon’t acknowledge you unless you speak to them directlyUse language that is overly familiar, e.g., calling you “honey” or “dear”Wear clothing that is dirty, too casual, too seductive or distracting in some other wayFlirt with coworkers, vendors or customersWear too much perfume or after-shave
10 More ExamplesDrop in on you while you are working and don’t ask if it’s okay to interruptHabitually arrive late at meetingsGossipHave outbursts of anger or yell and curseSay negative things about other employees behind their backsBragTalk too much about their personal livesSpeak too loudly on the telephoneEat food at their desks that has a strong smellTell jokes that involve race, gender, sexual orientation. religion, ethnicity or national origin
11 And More Are too “touchy feely” Invade your personal space Send sloppy messagesBorrow things but forget to return themPlay music in their cubicle that others can hearForget to return the restroom key or put it in the wrong place (or even take it home by mistake)Don’t say “thank you”Waste your timeDon’t return phone calls
12 And MoreKeep asking you the same questions even though you have given them answers previouslyStart meetings late and/or don’t end them on timeDon’t pick up their completed copies from the copy room or pick up pages they have sent to the printer.Don’t check faxes or copies they have made to make sure that all the pages are theirsCarry on loud conversations outside of your office or cubicleBorrow money and forget to return itFrequently complain and/or criticize othersBlock walkways or doorways when carrying on conversationsDon’t pay attention when you are speaking to them
13 And More Keep you waiting Leave you voice mail messages that are difficult to understand (in particular, those who say their phone numbers so quickly you have to listen three times to get them right)Use emoticons (those little faces that express an emotion) in officeLeave the coffee pot emptyForward you on everything they think is interesting without asking you if you want to get this information
14 Scenario #1A few employees who speak a language other than English sometimes communicate with one another in that language in your workplace. Some employees think this is fine and none of their business. Other employees feel uncomfortable and left out when in the presence of these employees. What do you think? Does workplace etiquette demand that employees should always speak in a language that everyone can understand?
15 Scenario #2Helen, a new employee, shares a cubicle with Dorothy, a long-time employee of the company. Dorothy had the cubicle to herself for quite a long time and had been using the whole space as if it were hers. When Helen first moved in, Dorothy cleared off the second desk area. As time passes, however, she has been slowly taking over more and more of Helen’s space. Helen now feels that she is working in Dorothy’s cubicle, not a shared cubicle. Helen has made a few comments like, “Gee, it’s getting cramped in here,” but Dorothy either doesn’t get the point or doesn’t want to. What should Helen do now?
16 Scenario #3John’s co-worker in the next cubicle has a habit of constantly clearing his throat, snorting and making other unpleasant sounds. John has tried to ignore this behavior, but finds it extremely distracting. Should John just work harder to ignore this behavior (he wonders if perhaps the coworker has some health problem that is causing this); counter-attack by making equally unpleasant noises; speak to the co-worker; or go directly to HR to complain?
17 Scenario #4Your office has provided a spacious kitchen with a large refrigerator, a microwave and a coffee maker. Most of the employees using this space are respectful of others—i.e., they clean up after themselves, remove old food from the refrigerator and make a new pot of coffee when the pot is empty. Unfortunately, there are a few employees who are discourteous and careless. The behavior of this small group has led to both resentment among their tidier coworkers and annoyance that everyone else has to pick up after them. What should be done to improve this situation?
18 Some Final ThoughtsYou don’t have to read Miss Manners to learn how to have good manners. Workplace etiquette makes the work environment respectful, pleasant, and productive.