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10 Essential Business Etiquette Policies Every Manager Should Implement

If you're a business owner or manager, you know how important it is to create a positive and professional work culture. Things can get pretty confusing if you don't communicate your expectations effectively. As someone who has worked as a hiring manager and is a business etiquette trainer, I've seen this happen firsthand.

Etiquette is often referred to as a set of unwritten rules, and I think that's a big mistake, especially in business. So, where do you start? Right here. Below is a list of ten business etiquette policies to help guide your team's interactions.

1. Greetings: First impressions are everything, so it's important to outline how employees should greet clients and customers. This applies to both in-person and phone interactions. Emphasize the importance of making a positive first impression, as your frontline workers are the face of your business.


2. Email Etiquette: Establish clear guidelines for email communication, including formatting expectations, response times, and proper use of reply, reply all and CC.


3. Dress Code: Dress codes may be more informal and relaxed these days, but it's still important to provide specific guidance on attire for in-person and virtual meetings. Add lots of photos to help employees understand what's appropriate.


4. Expressing Gratitude: Expressing gratitude to clients and colleagues will foster a positive work environment and build relationships. Create a standard for how and when to show appreciation, whether simply by saying "thank you for your business" or sending a handwritten note.


5. Social Media Policy: Set clear expectations regarding acceptable content and behavior on social media platforms. Make sure your employees understand that they are always a reflection of your company and their professionalism matters.


6. Workplace Cleanliness: Define guidelines for maintaining a clean and organized workspace, including policies on personal items and cleanliness responsibilities. A clean and organized workspace can help improve efficiency and productivity.


7. Business Dining and Networking: Provide guidance on appropriate behavior at business dining and networking events, including alcohol consumption, tipping etiquette, and professional conduct. Your employees should know how to represent your company professionally in various social situations.


8. Shared Spaces: Establish expectations for shared spaces like kitchens and common areas. Consider whether it's okay to interrupt someone whose door is closed, and make sure everyone knows the expectations for keeping these spaces clean and organized.


9. Virtual Meetings: With virtual meetings becoming more common, it's important to specify whether cameras should be turned on or are optional. Consider providing guidelines for using professional backgrounds or encouraging employees to use virtual backgrounds.


10. Punctuality: Being on time is respectful and professional. Clarify expected arrival times and distinguish between business and social norms.

Implementing these etiquette policies will help you create a positive work culture, build a stellar reputation for your company, and attract top clients and talent to help you succeed.

Etiquette Pro Tip: Set dates on your calendar to revisit these policies and adjust them to the times and evolving technology.


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