While workplace etiquette should be common sense, in today’s modern work environment a casual work culture might promote a casual management style. How people interact with each other seems less formal than it used to be, which can lull people into forgetting etiquette altogether. As a manager, you may be able to bend the rules some of the time, like showing up to a meeting a few minutes late, or answering a text during a meeting. But how would you like it if your employees did the same things? What if it was reversed and an employee decided to step out mid-meeting to grab a drink or refill their coffee?
Double standards are just one type of behaviour that frustrates employees, but there are endless other ways management can come off as unprofessional or leave a bad impression on employees and other managers alike. It’s important to consider how your behaviour can affect employees. Managers set the tone for their teams, so if they model discourteous or impolite behaviour, they shouldn’t be surprised to see the same thing mirrored back. This accumulation of bad manners can hurt morale, decrease productivity, and increase turnover.
Proper conduct and manager etiquette are part of creating a respectful workplace. Although people usually know the difference between right and wrong, the difference between polite and impolite can sometimes leave room for interpretation. Is it impolite to leave a meeting and grab a glass of water? What about taking a personal phone call at your desk? Sometimes there are blurred lines where these things might seem O.K. or not O.K.
As a leader, how you act can speak volumes to your employees. As mentioned, if you tell them to do something but don’t do it yourself, it comes across as impolite or unfair. How do you know if you’re not practicing proper leadership etiquette? Download our FREE Lead by Example Guide, which identifies behaviours you may need to change and discusses how to create a respectful workplace for everyone.
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