According to Chase's Calendar of Events this week, June 5-11, is National Business Etiquette Week. This is the official time to recognize and promote etiquette in the workplace. It's probably a good idea to dedicate at least this one week of the year to the observance of good manners and proper protocol, but it seems to me that we should be doing this every day, every week and every month of the year. I had the same feeling about May as National Smile Month. Shouldn't we smile all the time, not just in May?
As someone who has devoted her professional life to promoting business etiquette, I am more than a little biased on this subject. I firmly believe that any individual or organization that wants to be successful and profitable needs to place a high value on manners and understand what it means to treat others with courtesy, kindness and respect. To help in observance of National Business Etiquette Week, here are a few quick tips:
1. Always ask permission before placing someone on hold, and wait until you hear the response before doing so.
2. Give callers your full attention. It is obvious if you are multi-tasking during a conversation.
3. When sending email, keep it brief. Email is intended to be fast and efficient. A wordy message will go go straight to the deleted items.
4. Choose your words carefully when writing email. Remember that email has no tone and words can easily be misunderstood.
5. In the realm of socail media, use different accounts for your personal and professional connections or websites. It is never good to mix business and pleasure.
6. Never put anything on the Internet that you don't want the entire world to see. The Internet is not a secure place, and as many people have already learned, you can pay a high price for inappropriate content or photos.
Business etiquette is not something to be demonstrated on an occasional or "as-needed" basis. Adding the polish that builds profits should be a daily commitment, not a monthly or annual one.