No matter what the industry or business sector, “Positive Workplaces” are built on successful people-to-people relationships, beginning with the most critical component, the partnership between managers and employees. This relationship sets the tone and impacts the workplace. The workplace environment drives employees; those people, who ultimately, drive your business.

Working brings us into close and frequent contact with others. The physical environment of many workplaces – especially those with cubicles – leaves little room for employees to experience quiet, distraction-free or private surroundings.

Business Etiquette is more important than ever! Given the close proximity of people in the workplace, technology and its affect on our time, the global business culture, and the on-going social and networking interactions, we live in a hectic, fast-paced business world! We can easily forget about the importance of the developing and maintaining the people-to-people connections.

Have you ever thought about the role our actions play in rebuilding our important relationships and forging them in our business and personal lives? Business etiquette and nuances matter and speak volumes about YOU and how you do business!

“Attitude” (a subject near and dear to my heart!) was one of the keys. Some of the nuances/signs that speak to a positive or negative attitude, according to business etiquette experts, are energy, enthusiasm, sincerity, authenticity (my favorite word), and personal style. Also, the “4 C’s – confidence, control, contribute and connect – as expert, Judith Bowman, states.

What are some of the nuances and ways “attitude” manifests and can be detected in the business situation?
• Hand shake – tells a lot!
• Business ethics – behavior & reputation
• Proper etiquette in dining situations (we actually practiced at a formal luncheon – lots of fun!)
• Presence: confidence, charisma, posture
(body language, professional dress, language, professional standing position)
• Remembering names
• Business card quality & protocol – your card represents your life!
Networking situations – how you arrive in and work the room; talk to people!

Why should we care so much about attitude? It Just Makes Cent$! In business school, we learned that we exist for B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) transactions. A few years ago, I coined “P2P” – the people-to-people connection and have been on my “P2P” crusade ever since to help people build effective business relationships that can lead to improved results.

We’ve heard time and time again that people do business with those they know, like and trust. How do we get to know, like and trust? It all starts with attitude and making the “P2P” connections – meeting face-to-face, eyes-to-eyes, and ears-to-ears (talking, watching and listening).

A lot of time, energy and money is spent each year on recruiting new employees and building our customer base. It’s important to also remember to maintain and grow our relationships with current employees and customers.

The American Society of Quality Control conducted a study a few years ago to determine why a company looses customers: (in reverse order of importance)

6. Death of the customer (1%)
5. Customer moves away (3%)
4. Customer was influenced by a friend to go elsewhere (5%)
3. Customer was lured away by the competition (9%)
2. Customer was dissatisfied with the product (14%)
#1 Customer was turned away by the indifferent attitude of a company employee (68%)!

Research has proven what we already know - that negative, toxic environments disengage and de-motivate employees (and customers), while positive, supportive environments engage and motivate our most valuable asset (and our customers).

Let’s also be realistic…No workplace will ever be perfect – we, the people working there, are not perfect! We need to do our best to make it as positive as possible – one person at a time, one day at a time – to engage ourselves, our employees and our customers to improve our business results.

It doesn’t matter whether we are self-employed or work for a small business, not-for-profit, educational institution or large corporation, we all need to remember “P2P” and the basics of business etiquette. Keep it simple to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

A Positive Workplace Means Business! TM

Author's Bio: 

Mary Jane (MJ) Paris, Founder and President of Positive Impact Consulting Services, LLC in Shelton, CT, brings a broad base of experience to her practice gained from more than 25 years in people management, sales, retail banking, training, recruiting, coaching, project management, event planning and community leadership.

With a focus on “The Positive Workplace,” MJ and Positive Impact specialize in leadership and professional development programs, speaking engagements, and small business coaching that bring “Positive Energy” to your workplace. Engage employees, maximize productivity, improve customer service and business results…