How you present yourself to others in the workplace is vital to being successful. Whether you are interacting with others face-to-face or digitally, learning how to manage your professional relationships and maintain good etiquette is important for your job security as well as your employer’s business operations.
Here are 5 best practices for navigating your way through any inter-office interaction:
1. Be Personable but Professional
Wherever you work, it is important to make connections, but it is also important to be cautious about oversharing your personal life. Setting boundaries at work is critical; sharing too much information can change the way others view you and make them question your ability to do the job.
Use common sense in your professional communications and relationships. An employee who shares that they hate their manager or tells coworkers that they’re looking for a new job can have negative consequences. Before you speak, ask yourself if the information you’re anxious to share will have negative repercussions for you once it is out there.
2. Avoid Gossip
Gossip has a negative impact on the work environment. It can wreck careers and reputations. It can also bring down team cohesion, morale and productivity.
Treating others how you would like to be treated is at the heart of all professional etiquette rules. Do not judge your coworkers or speak negatively about them, even if you are frustrated over a certain situation.
3. Don’t Leave Your Colleagues in the Dark
Return phone calls and emails within 24 hours. Even if you do not have the full answer, it is important to acknowledge receipt of the phone call or email by at least saying you will provide an update soon.
By being prompt in your replies, you send the message to the sender their needs are important, and that you have not forgotten about them.
4. Online Correspondence
The rules of the internet don’t change just because you are using a work computer. Everything you post online is there forever. At work, even if you delete something, it can be found.
When speaking to a colleague online, speak to them the same way you would as if you were speaking face-to-face.
Do not use profanity and be sure to use proper grammar and spelling. At most businesses, workplace correspondence can be monitored, so make sure all your conversations are ones you’d be comfortable with your boss reading.
How your employer operates sets them apart from their competitors. Being part of a successful company means you will be exposed to your employer’s trade secrets, and they are trusting you to keep that information confidential.
Do not share confidential information about your employer with others. Sharing confidential information about your employer can end with you losing your job and your credibility. And those marks will follow you around for the rest of your career.
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The Main Take-Away
Whether you are starting a new job, or you have been working at the same job for several years, it is important to remain vigilant in your office etiquette. Remaining professional at all times goes a long way and, in some cases, can be the determining factor when it comes time for promotions and career stability.