Your corporate culture is an important part of your company's image, because prospective clients, and even your competitors, will judge you in part on how your employees interact with each other and with the public. That's why many companies, small and large, are including business etiquette training as part of their corporate culture management.
Today's etiquette training is about much more than knowing which fork to use, though; instead, it's a way to be at ease in any situation, while also distinguishing yourself from your competition. And it's essential if you plan to do business internationally because the workplace culture in other countries is often far stricter than in the United States.
Information about business cultures includes:
- Knowing how to make an introduction.
- Knowing how to shake hands.
- Knowing how to interact with peers and superiors.
- Understanding how foreign business cultures differ from those in the United States.
Attend business etiquette training
While there are many books and websites dedicated to etiquette, protocol and business culture information, hands-on training allows you to see these practices in action. And, it's often easier to remember something if you've done it, rather than only read about it.
Hire a business culture consultant
Most etiquette consultants will come to you, and may begin with an assessment of your corporate culture and etiquette savvy, followed by an on-site training session.
Know how American business etiquette differs from that of other countries
International relations are a growing component of business etiquette training. Even if your company doesn't have offices in other countries, or you rarely do business internationally, understanding how to interact with other cultures can prepare you future international expansion. And with the East quickly becoming a thriving business hub, you never know when you may need to have a thorough understanding of Japanese business etiquette, for example.
- Make business etiquette training fun because when many people think of etiquette, they imagine a stern teacher rapping their knuckles if they pick up the wrong utensil. Today's etiquette training emphasizes a fun and practical approach, and may even use games or flash cards.