Employers are Filling in Etiquette Gaps

The first job I ever held was on a college campus during the time that I was an undergraduate student. (I won’t mention how many years ago that was.) I did not work in retail, at a fast-food restaurant, or even at the public library as a high school student. I did not gain the general knowledge which is typically obtained from employment. Beyond showing up and doing the work, I had no clue about business etiquette and what was expected of employees. Consequently, I’m sure I probably committed every faux pas imaginable. For instance, if I had an exam that I wanted to study for during a time when I was scheduled to work, I might have called off at the last minute. In normal young person fashion, I gave no thought to what my manager might have had to do to find someone to get the work done without my presence. At 18 years of age, of course, my plans were more important than being a responsible employee.

As a manager, you might not think it’s your job to teach business etiquette to any of your employees (younger or older). However, the author of this article might disagree. The article suggests that some information needs to be taught to younger employees who may be entering the workforce having never learned some rules and best practices of employment. “Professionalism and business etiquette continue to be hot topics in the skills arena for young professionals.” The article asserts the idea that employers must ensure that expectations are clearly and directly communicated—particularly as it relates to attendance, sick days, call-off procedures, and general workplace protocol. The article offers suggestions for managing some situations in a manner that emphasizes the importance of consideration. This type of training becomes a critical part of employer-provided professional development which can serve as a much-desired recruitment and retention tool.