Being thrown into your first professional workplace is a huge shift from being just a normal college student to becoming a valued member of the team. It’s one of the major transitions in life that comes with some preparation, but not perfection. It’s going to take your education, some practical hands-on experience, and putting into practice a little workplace etiquette.
What is workplace etiquette?
Workplace etiquette is more than just learning how to do your job. Good manners are expected in the workplace whether that be online or in person, through forming relationships, or learning to be self-aware. These are all good habits that are important when working for organizations and especially when working on a team.
It’s saying thank you and being appreciative of others. It’s holding the door for someone or helping others even if it’s not exactly your job to do so. It’s admitting your mistakes. It’s serving your customers to your best ability by going above and beyond for them. It’s more than just learning and doing your job well; it is making a positive difference in the lives of those around you.
A New Generation with Timeless Values
Technology is the way of the world today, so it is only fitting that we adapt to those needs. At the bare minimum, new team members should understand how to navigate computer programs such as Word, Excel, and email applications. Fortunately, each new generation is more tech savvy than any generation before. Technology has many benefits for business; however, it can also be a distraction if you are not careful. Do not rely on your phone or computer for non-work-related applications or websites. There is a time and place for such things. Personal browsing can be inappropriate at times and often a hindrance to productivity in the workplace. Put your technological skills to work but remember to value your people skills as well.
Learn to Speak with More Than Words
Even though technological advancements have had many positive effects on society, somewhere along the way we have forgotten how to communicate as well in person. No matter where you are, when working with people, communication will always be required. For instance, at Bank Independent, we don’t use voicemail or phone trees, you’ll always get a real person every time you call. As a new team member, you may very well be that person. It’s important to realize how valuable your voice is to the company.
Even if you are communicating by email, it’s important that it is written professionally. Focus on sending proper emails that are professionally formatted instead of the shortcuts you take while texting your best friend. Whether communicating on the phone or online, speaking with others in the work setting is difficult to avoid. Be prepared to communicate your best either way.
When you are face-to-face, remember that body language is a form of nonverbal communication. Show your fellow team members that their time is important, and you value their opinion, especially in meetings. Sitting up straight, making eye contact, and exhibiting the physical cues that indicate you are following a conversation all show that you respect others time and effort.
Organization in Every Work Sector
Organization covers many areas of a workplace. It can be as simple as keeping your desk nice and tidy, and not leaving out food or clutter. It is important to be conscious of your clutter and not impose on someone else’s space. Being organized with your work can be a vital component of your success. Organize your schedule in a way that will help you complete your tasks and deadlines for the day or week. Time management may be one of the most important attributes of a successful team member. Being able to pace your work in the appropriate amount of time will keep your to-do list, and others, from being overloaded.
The Values that Elevate Good to Great
Here at Bank Independent, we have values that we stand by as an organization. We value playing by the rules; treating others the way we want to be treated; respecting each other's differences; acting with integrity, and being open, honest, and forthright; doing the right thing for all parties involved; and, honoring our commitments.
These values are not just empty words we toss around. We live them every single day. I can honestly say from my intern experience over the past 3 months, these values are not said lightly. They are lived out by our team members, and truly make us the great organization that we are today.
I was recently invited to attend our new hire luncheon. Each of the new team members meet as a group for a lunch with the President of the Bank, Macke Mauldin. While we were at the luncheon, Macke discussed how the bank began, asked a little bit about each new team member, and why we chose to work at the bank.
When asked why we chose to work for Bank Independent, two common themes appeared in the answers as we went around the table: most of us were aware of the work culture at Bank Independent, and most were familiar with the wonderful things this organization does for the community. It seems like everyone here just gets it. At Bank Independent, we pride ourselves on serving our community and customers with outstanding service and going above and beyond the normal expectations. We want Bank Independent to feel like home to our customers, a place they can turn to in need with people who care.
Be Yourself and Make Yourself at Home!
So much of our lifetime is spent at our workplaces. Find one that you love, and where you would feel comfortable and with people you would enjoy working with on a daily basis. The first days or even months at a new job can take time for you to adjust and establish relationships, but always remember to stay true to who you are. Some of the best leaders got to where they were not because they were the smartest ones in the room or did their jobs perfectly, but by being humble and treating those around them well.
Search Careers & Connect with Bank Independent
At Bank Independent, we pride ourselves on staying true to our values and maintaining a great work culture. We post career positions and answer community questions about career opportunities. Ask us about internship opportunities or visit www.bibank.com/careers.