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The first step toward encouraging workplace etiquette in employees is to demonstrate good etiquette yourself. Effective leaders are one who set the tone for the people around them. Effective leaders do not have to be the ones in charge; they are simply the ones who are able to influence others. Setting a good example of etiquette by demonstrating integrity and character, you will have a lot more credibility when changes need to be made in those areas.
I think employers need to be careful to hire someone who seems to naturally understand the concept of etiquette. If you hire people who obviously are people who "have a clue" about etiquette, you won't need to encourage it in employees. It will just come naturally.
If you already have a bunch of "monkeys" working for you, I suppose sending a memo to them all and telling them what their mother should have told might help: "Memo. This is a reminder that etiquette in the workplace makes the whole environment more pleasant and productive for everyone. For those who may not be familiar with common workplace etiquette, here's a list....."
Let them know the the things that are not acceptable. For example, browing through facebook during office hours is wrong except the nature of your work need to deal with facebook. Most people waste man hour time on facebook. It has become addiction. You have to let them know what is permissible or not.
I don't think that being on Facebook has to do with work place etiquette, per se.
I think work place etiquette is how we treat others. And, where I work, there is definitely a lack of it.
One way to curb the nastiness, is to stop gossiping about everyone. If someone comes to you with gossip, tell them that you are not interested. Or if you do hear gossip from someone else, don't spread it.
Leading by example is the best way, in my opinion. Even though they may not follow it or get the hint, the better you are, the better they can try to be.
For example, I had a case where a superior was very unprofessional and used profane language while conducting business. As the person let out all their frustrations, via a conference call, my direct report and I simply responded in a calm and professional tone and immediately this person calmed down. Soon after, my direct report followed up with a very firm, yet assertive, email stating that their conduct was "unprofessional and inappropriate" and that our department is only the middle person in the situation and providing the best service for his team as allowed, but that we understood their frustrations as well and will be taking them into account. Nonetheless, the subsequent emails and interaction have been quite cordial ever since. Although the person never officially apologized for their behavior, they did acknowledge their error in judgment.
As a result, we kept our cool and professionalism while teaching, or better said, reinforcing the NEED for workplace etiquette no matter how difficult the circumstances.
Great question and very near and dear to my heart.
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