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What Is Corporate Etiquette?

Corporate etiquette is passed on to younger professionals by more experienced employees.
Always find out an employer's policy on business gifts.
In business, it is important to study the culture of your international partners and clients.
Specific behaviors and manners in a business meeting can impact the others view a corporation.
Employees might attend seminars to improve corporate etiquette.
At a corporate formal dinner, the servers bring out the proper silverware along with each course.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2014
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Corporate etiquette is sometimes called business etiquette and it is a set of ordinarily agreed upon rules for behaving in the business environment. Essentially, it focuses on manners for the corporation and for its individual players. It has to do with the way an individual interacts with customers and other businesses. When etiquette is observed, the corporation has the opportunity to present a seamless, mannered front to the rest of the world, which can increase the respect the world gives it, resulting in a potentially more profitable corporation.

Some of the subjects that corporate etiquette might address include the polite way to interact with others. Specific behaviors and manners attached to the way people speak in person or on the phone may change how others perceive a corporation. Written communications are equally important and anything from an email to a formal letter may be governed by certain rules, according to etiquette specialists.

Interaction isn’t only limited to verbal or written communication. Many groups that specialize in teaching the rules of businesss etiquette also teach proper manners for dining with clients or other businesses. People may not know these rules automatically and benefit from instruction in table manners and appropriate dining conversation.

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Other topics are often taught in corporate etiquette classes or in books. This could include how to show sensitivity to cultural differences and how to place people of other cultures at their ease, since many businesses operate on a multinational level. Some etiquette rules might suggest ways to begin and end conversations, how to introduce guests, or how to dress for the corporate world and for any more formal occasions.

One thing that books or classes don’t always cover is individual rules or protocols that apply to a specific company. These rules may fall under the idea of applied ethics, where behavior is based on a certain moral code the company has expressed. For instance, one need in corporate etiquette would be to determine if or how to accept gifts from clients or associates, and whether accepting such gifts could be a conflict of interest. Etiquette would then have to determine how to politely refuse a gift or how to accept it and what steps are then necessary, such as writing a thank you note. Since these rules can vary slightly, they usually need to be individualized.

As mentioned, there are number of places to learn this form of etiquette. Many professionals will work with either individuals or businesses to help produce a more mannered workforce, and this might be done at a seminar level or on a private basis. Etiquette trainers could also assess present levels of etiquette displayed at a workplace and make recommendations on change or improvements that could confer a greater sense of professionalism. While people might start with a few books on the subject, sometimes hiring an etiquette specialist is an excellent idea if much transformation needs to be made, or alternately a business can send one or two people to an etiquette specialist, expecting them to come back and teach what they’ve learned to others.

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Discuss this Article

Crispety
Post 4

Icecream17- I know that there is an etiquette school in Coconut Grove that offers etiquette courses to children ages seven and up in the summer. They teach them table manners and how and when to write thank you letters.

They also teach how to address adults and how to engage in proper conversation. Teaching children etiquette at such a young age is great because those that can demonstrate appropriate etiquette not only feel better and have a more enjoyable experience, but they are also at an advantage in the business world.

I think that etiquette should be taught in high school and college so people can understand the importance of good manners.

icecream17
Post 3

Mutsy-A lot of corporate etiquette training also states that you should wait for everyone at the table to receive their meal before you start eating.

In addition, refraining from alcoholic drinks is important because you can control your actions better without the alcohol.

Also, business dinner etiquette states that you place your fork and knife across the plate like a bridge. You do not put it back down on the table.

Lastly, remember that your drinks are served to your right of you and you also must remember not to sit down until your host or hostess is seated. Sitting down beforehand is considered rude.

mutsy
Post 2

Suntan12-I know that business table etiquette is a must if you want to enjoy any measurable level of success. Always keeping your elbows off the table and placing your napkin on your lap is a start.

Also, chewing with your mouth closed and not talking with your mouth full is essential. Table etiquette dictates that if you would like an item that is far from you, the polite thing is to ask the person sitting next to you if they could pass the item over.

It is improper corporate dining etiquette to reach over someone’s plate and get the item yourself. This prevents the person that you reached over to enjoy their meal and it should never be done. Also, selecting silverware from the outer corners inward is the best way to remember with utensil should be used at which course.

suntan12
Post 1

Proper business etiquette not only makes people comfortable around you put also enhances your career.

Many people don’t realize the importance of business etiquette because even though you may think that it is not a part of your job, your peers and superiors will always judge on this aspect.

For example, proper telephone etiquette dictates that you offer a friendly initial greeting and identify the company by name as well as supply your name.

If someone answers the phone, “Thank you for calling ABC Company, my name is Carol, how may I help you today? It offers a friendly greeting to the caller.”

Here the caller has the option to address the employee by her name when discussing the product or service.

Also, the employee should maintain a friendly demeanor and her voice should demonstrate appropriate inflection. No one wants to speak to someone with a monotone voice.

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