Common Courtesy Through the Lens of Common Decency

Workplace Etiquette Basics

Whether they work for a large organization or a small business, it is expected that all employees demonstrate good manners in the workplace. And yet, some employees need to be reminded about what common courtesy looks like at work. Workplace etiquette training can provide a brief refresher for team members who need to brush up on their manners.

As Emily Post said “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Employees need not get hung up on specific types of manners - like table manners - but instead remember that if you are decent, courteous, and aware of others’ feelings, you will be displaying good manners in the workplace. The root of courtesy is kindness, consideration, and a genuine respect for the human spirit.

As part of employee orientation or as a refresher for seasoned employees, workplace training should encourage the usage of the following manners in the workplace.

  • Basic manners: say please, thank you, excuse me, and no thank you; hold the door open for others; don’t lie, cheat or steal; follow organizational rules; keep your workspace tidy and clean up your messes.
  • Conversational manners: make eye contact; speak politely without swearing or slang; avoid gossip or giving unsolicited advice; introduce yourself, listen, and ask insightful questions; respect the decisions and opinions of others.
  • Social manners: be helpful without expecting anything in return; never make assumptions about others; never intentionally embarrass someone; avoid sensitive subjects on social media; apologize when you’re wrong; be quiet and gracious when you’re right; send ‘thank you’ notes; be on time (or call to say you’ll be late).

For workplace training on making a good impression, we suggest How to Connect in 90 Seconds or Less. 

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