Business etiquette best practices

Etiquette expert, Marilyn Pincus, says, “Business etiquette is practiced to make people comfortable with one another so that business can prosper.”

In today’s casual society, more than ever, staff need to learn the proper protocol, etiquette and little nuances that should still be in place and then some. Since there are volumes of information on this, do your research. Here are some important guidelines to get you started.

Why is business etiquette so important?

  • You’ll make a good first impression.
  • You could be viewed as a star employee.
  • It’ll make your executive proud.
  • You’ll prevent embarrassing yourself.
  • It sets a professional tone.
  • It’s part of how you can get ahead
  • It makes your company look good

Meetings and in-person business etiquette

Handshakes are the universal business greeting. Usually, the higher-ranking person will offer their hand first, but if they don’t, you can still offer yours. Make eye contact when you shake their hand and smile. Those who avert their eyes are viewed as lacking confidence and honesty.

Make sure you arrive on time. It is better to arrive early than be late.

Be sure to pay attention to names. Identify a characteristic that helps differentiate that person. Try to use their name a few times right away within the conversation to help you remember their name.

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Cellphone business etiquette

When others are in hearing distance, be discreet about what you say and lower your voice.

  • Silence your phones in places where you should not take calls:
    • Training sessions/classrooms.
    • Meetings.
    • At your desk (for personal calls).

Wearable devices: Don’t look at them every single minute when you are with other people or someone is talking to you.

Webinar and Videoconference etiquette

If you have the ability to post comments in a Chat, as our webinar attendees are able to do, don’t be discourteous just because people can’t see you. If people can see you, watch what you are doing (facial expressions; behavior; actions; don’t look uninterested).

Email etiquette matters

Don’t start your email with “Hey.” You can open with “Hello” or “Hi Brian” or “Good Morning Meredith.” In your closing signature line, you should include your address and telephone number. Make it easy should someone need to mail you something or need to call you.

Good grammar, punctuation and spelling are a part of your brand. We are human and mistakes happen, but do your best. Consider using an app like Grammarly.