Charm School for Employees?
January 27, 2024
Office Etiquette Training on the Rise in Corporate Culture
As more and more organizations bring employees back to the office, charm school is emerging as the newest workplace trend. Office etiquette is taking center stage as an essential component of professional development. Recent research indicates that more than 6 in 10 companies are set to offer office etiquette classes by 2024. Businesses are unleashing the magic of charm school to weave an atmosphere of respect and collaboration.
According to a survey of business leaders by ResumeBuilder.com, 45% of companies currently provide etiquette training, with an additional 20% planning to implement such programs in the future. The remaining 25% have no plans for etiquette classes, and 10% are uncertain about their company’s stance.
Among companies already offering etiquette training, a staggering 99% report success, with 65% describing it as ‘highly’ successful and 34% as ‘somewhat’ successful.
Responses from surveyed companies shed light on the motivations behind implementing etiquette classes. Issues ranged from miscommunication on office norms to concerns about inappropriate attire and an increase in complaints about workplace behavior. The decision to interact more regularly with clients also played a role in the motivation to institute these courses.
The survey delved into the specific skills covered in etiquette classes, with ‘making polite conversation’ ranking highest at 78%. Other crucial skills included ‘dressing professionally’ (75%) and ‘writing professional emails’ (69%). Respondents emphasized the importance of avoiding unacceptable conversations, discouraging political and religious discussions, and promoting equal and fair treatment of all individuals.
The research revealed that 60% of companies offering or planning to offer etiquette classes intend to make them mandatory for all employees. An additional 21% will offer them as optional for all, while 19% will make them obligatory for specific employees. The decline in interpersonal skills and professional conduct, exacerbated by the pandemic, has fueled the demand for such training.
10% of companies offering classes plan to mandate etiquette training specifically for Gen Z and new college graduates. While the majority (91%) agree that Gen Z is competent at tasks such as using office equipment basic computer software (95%), fewer respondents said they are competent when it comes to “soft” skills such as taking constructive criticism (62%) and keeping controversial topics out of the workplace (66%).The survey also highlighted the rise of mentorship programs and emphasized the importance of extending such initiatives to smaller organizations.
The surge in companies recognizing the value of office etiquette training reflects a growing awareness of the impact workplace behavior has on productivity and relationships. As businesses adapt to new work paradigms, investing in the development of interpersonal skills has become imperative for creating a professional, respectful atmosphere conducive to effective communication and collaboration.
By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM-approved partner, ASE.