THE growing obsessions with mobile devices and social media among younger people in the workforce is ruining some basic communications skills and costing employers revenue and staff career opportunities.
Some of the issues frustrating employers include short-form words, bad spelling and writing in emails which decrease respect from customers. They also highlight how young people present themselves today.
The greatest impact is on businesses with client-facing staff and those who deal with customers by phone or in writing, where there is increasing risk of sales losses and other commercial opportunities.
As a result, businesses are now scrambling to put their employees through business etiquette skills-training such as basic writing of emails, communicating and talking articulately to customers in plain English.
One of Australia's top professional development trainer companies, PD Training, says demand by employers for business etiquette courses has tripled in the past two years.
6 Golden Rules of Business Etiquette
Make a great first impression. Project the three C's: Confidence (good firm handshake with two or three pumps, maintain eye contact); Competence (being prepared and knowledgeable when meeting with clients or customers) and Credibility (be punctual and well groomed).
Avoid emailer's regret. Always re-read your emails and double check a recipient's address details. Avoid just forwarding emails always check for sensitive commentary. Remember your response can be forwarded too!
Proper English please. Use full sentences, proper grammar and capitalisation. Leave text speak LOL and BTW for your mates. Avoid emoticons unless your business relationship is already built.
Be aware of mobile phone do and don'ts. Don't take calls in the middle of a business meeting. If you must, excuse yourself and give a brief reason why you are taking the call. Adhere to the 10 feet away rule and don't take calls in intimate spaces.
Dress for success. The way you look also 'talks' and it's seen as a courtesy to others. If in doubt, dress conservatively. Darker muted colours are perceived to be more professional. 'Casual' in business carries with it a lot of do and don'ts. Avoid shorts, cut off or cut out clothes.
Remember names. Repeat it back, write it down and use mental imagery to associate that person with their name.
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