Employees with bad attitudes can spoil a business and alienate customers. This principle remains true whether the business in question is a fast food restaurant, high-end retail store, or even a business-to-business company. People skills and social etiquette are instrumental to a successful business – paradoxically, people will sometimes choose a smiling face and an inferior product over a more efficient solution which is dealt out in a surly manner. Here are some tips on how to keep employee and client dissatisfaction at a minimum by using old-fashioned good manners!
- Stress the team. Every person at a company has a role – at least they ought to if they’re being paid! Make sure that everyone feels included. If lower-level employees don’t feel appreciated, their quality of work will suffer. Without proper support staff, hot-shot upper level employees will have their efficiency compromised.
- Minimize meetings. Although they are a necessary part of running a business, meetings can become a burden on productivity. Keep meetings concise and be sensitive to the time-strain they may put on employee’s effectiveness.
- Be quick on the draw. Nothing is worse than reaching out to give a company business only to receive dead air in return. No matter how absurd or demanding the request, always be prompt in correspondence with potential clients.
- Organize thoughts. Rambling emails appear unprofessional and can also be a legitimate source of confusion. By being concise and clear the first time, the chances of having to explain something twice or deal with a perturbed and confused employee are reduced.
- Don’t overdress or underdress. The idea of a uniform might seem constricting, especially in creative fields. But for most businesses, and especially in the case of those that are engaged in a large amount of business-to-business contact, underdressing can be taken as a sign of unprofessionalism. Establishing guidelines for dress is a tacit way of reminding employees that they’re at work and that they need to reflect this outwardly.
- Make deadlines. A missed deadline can give a client the impression that they are of limited importance. If the scope of work becomes larger than expected, give significant notice and explain the reasons behind a project’s tardiness.
- Be sensitive to diversity. This goes both for clients and employees, creeds and personality types. Remember that a business relationship requires collaboration and compromise. Additionally, keep in mind that a lack of dissenting voices doesn’t necessarily mean consensus – it may mean that employees are afraid to speak out!
Some may underestimate the value of proper etiquette in the work place. After all, we live in an era when many of the formalities have gone out of business relationships. We can see our business associate’s exploits on social media, and interoffice emails these days often contain cat video attachments or the like. But when it comes to ensuring a profitable and smoothly functioning business, decorum still has a rightful place. It can be difficult to measure how many clients may be lost or never secured because of poor etiquette, so it’s best to do everything possible to keep this number low!
Justin blogs about business tips and how to start and market a business on behalf of Kwikkerb. He also provides information on the Kwikkerb business opportunity.