Learning & Development

6 Best Practices for 21st-Century Business Etiquette Training

Business etiquette is probably more important now than it was a few decades ago, and it is certainly far from irrelevant or elitist. Experts also agree that etiquette training needs to be tailored to a new generation of professionals right now. Continue reading to learn more about why and for 6 great tips on training employees on business etiquette.

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We Live in a Global Business Economy

Business etiquette training typically covers cultural norms and customs, especially for those employees who work with clients or customers located around the globe. In a day and age where it’s so simple and common to call or chat online with someone who is half a world away, common etiquette and proper etiquette are critical to understanding other people inside the business realm and not accidentally offending or confusing them.

While one country agrees with certain business customs, others may not—which is especially the case when it comes to proper greetings and dining etiquette.

We Live in a Just-in-Time Society

Business etiquette training also typically covers the importance of being prompt and punctual and listening actively to others. And it covers preparedness and being respectful of others’ time. In a society that is always “on,” everyone should always strive to be on time and expedient.

Yet, employees should also know when they should take a moment to consider a more thoughtful or helpful reply instead of always feeling the need to respond to everything instantaneously.

In a just-in-time society where everything happens at a moment’s notice, it’s important for employees to stop and consider what others are saying or requesting, or not saying, etc.—it’s important to slow down long enough to be more emotionally intelligent, in other words, while remaining punctual.

Building Trust Is Important

When your employees demonstrate that they understand and are willing to follow certain rules of business etiquette, they’re also demonstrating a level of integrity and that they are honest and polite and can be trusted. And in this day and age, trust is critical to a business’s success. So, build trust with your clients and internal teams by training your employees in proper business etiquette.

Building Communication Skills Is Important

In today’s workplace, employers want employees with better communication skills. And employees want better workplace communications, as well. Better communication increases work productivity and employee satisfaction.

And a huge part of business etiquette training revolves around how to respectfully and effectively communicate with others, whether they be coworkers, bosses, clients, partners, etc. Ensure your business remains successful by training your employees in proper business etiquette.

Best Practices

Here are six best practices you should follow if you’re interested in training your employees in 21st-century business etiquette.

1. Offer Hands-On Learning Experiences

Allow your learners to eat at a table when they’re learning dining etiquette. Allow them to be present in a meeting room when they’re learning how to interact with others during business meetings. Hands-on learning experiences will help learners understand the business etiquette concepts that will be covered in your course firsthand.

2. Provide Blended Learning Experiences

While a lot of business etiquette skills should be learned in person, many skills can be tested via mobile courses or e-Learning modules, too. For instance, certain greetings from around the world can be covered via online learning materials and experiences.

And learners can engage with their peers and instructors via mobile devices and apps as they learn proper etiquette for electronic business communications. Overall, having both in-person and e-Learning experiences will be necessary as your employees learn business etiquette skills and practices.

3. Include Emotional Intelligence Skills

Emotionally intelligent employees are polite and engage in positive and constructive communications, actively build trust and rapport with others, and consider others as they interact with them—all of which are very important when learning business etiquette.

4. Create a Guide or Handbook

Create a guidebook or handbook that employees can access at any time or refer to when they interact with their clients, coworkers, and bosses. Include information regarding common greetings and phrases, tips for drafting e-mails, etc.—information that will prove helpful in most common or important business-related dealings and interactions.

5. Consider Technology

As part of their business etiquette training, employees should learn how to use common technology for conducting virtual meetings, displaying presentations in meeting rooms, etc. Because oftentimes, punctuality and trust are broken due to technology-related errors or mishaps.

For instance, meetings will go over their allotted time limit because someone doesn’t know how to use his or her conferencing technology, or important documents aren’t sent because of technology-related errors.

6. Hire a Consultant

To ensure your employees receive the best business etiquette training possible, hire a consultant to help you design and implement course materials. He or she will most likely have proven training strategies and content that work.

If you want your employees to be well versed in 21st-century business etiquette, be sure to follow the six best practices mentioned above.