The benefits of courtesy at work

The benefits of courtesy at work

Time to read: 

He refused a handshake with his supervisor and was fired. A fake news ? No, the mishap in 2014 for an employee of Constellium (who is also a CGT unionist), while there may be many legitimate reasons not to shake hands with your boss - for example, if your hands are sweaty - politeness at work still has significant advantages.

Courtesy, as a performance tool

Some workers who always arrive late for meetings without apologizing; others who have their eyes fixed on their phones all through the meeting; your office neighbour who bellows about her assistant all day long; incivilities at work are so frequent that it would no longer be an offense to anyone to be upset about it.

According to a study carried out by Eléas in 2014, rudeness in the office would have a direct impact on the productivity of three-quarters of employees. A poor working climate generates stress and discomfort, it is time to see courtesy not only as a factor of well-being, but also as a powerful performance tool. Applying the rules of good neighborliness to your workspace (not screaming on the phone, filling the printer tray when there is no more paper, or putting the stapler back in its place) is not very costly as a personal contribution, but can be very beneficial for all.

Courtesy and positive externalities

As a reflection of the company's culture, the standards of decency can only be respected if they are respected in all hierarchical levels, and in particular by the management. The ability to express gratitude for a timely job, or to send a congratulatory message if you are happy, takes only a few minutes but can have a positive impact on team motivation.

The implementation of an internal courtesy policy is particularly relevant as it should generate positive externalities, by making each employee a model ambassador for the company. There is indeed little risk that an employee will arrive late for an appointment or express himself in a relaxed way with a customer if he is used to being courteous with his colleagues and to being on time for meetings.  It should be noted that a company's reputation does not depend only on its employees: an unfortunate candidate to whom no one has ever written, an intern who is not well enough supervised, will certainly be a source of negative publicity. 

The SHGT mind

The SHGT method (S for smiling, H for hello, G for goodbye and T for thanks), commonly used in the commercial world, should be applied at work. You obviously don't have to kiss your colleagues every morning in the open space (especially those with jackal breath).  Nevertheless, sending a small global greeting (a "Hello everyone" with a smile, let's be crazy) rather than heading to your station without removing your headphones can have a significant impact as well. If you check up on the children and don't forget to wish them birthdays, you can be sure that your company will be included in the CAC 40 by the end of the year.


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