Business Etiquette for Millennials

For millennials entering the workforce, the office can be an overwhelming and intimidating place. Professional employees are expected to abide by certain standards of etiquette that millennials need to understand and adapt to as part of an organization. Remembering a few basic rules and guidelines can help millennials get a leg up at work.

I’ve gathered helpful tips that can help employees of any age follow proper business etiquette.

Why Successful People Never Bring Smartphones Into Meetings via Entrepeneur: “The study also found that Millennials are three times more likely than those over 40 to think that smartphone use during meetings is okay, which is ironic considering Millennials are highly dependent upon the opinions of their older colleagues for career advancement. TalentSmart has tested the emotional intelligence of more than a million people worldwide and found that Millennials have the lowest self-awareness in the workplace, making them unlikely to see that their smartphone use in meetings is harming their careers.”

Don’t Be That Person: Your Guide to Printing Etiquette in the Office via The Huffington Post: “Removing somebody else’s documents from the printer and placing them somewhere else the moment they print is the office equivalent to emptying a person’s washing machine and dumping their clothes at a communal laundry. If the documents don’t belong to you, don’t move them. It’s a sure way to guarantee papers get lost. That being said, if a colleague has left their documents at the printer for hours, they’re fair game. These habits are the hallmark of an annoying printer and I hope that you don’t run into one at your next job.”

19 Business-Etiquette Rules Every Professional Should Know via Business Insider: “In today’s workplace, the host or the higher-ranking person, regardless of gender, should extend their hand first, she writes. ‘If the higher-ranking person fails to do so immediately — often because of gender confusion — the lower-ranking person should extend his or her hand without missing more than a beat.’ Either way, the handshake must happen. ‘In the United States, the handshake is the business greeting. If you want to be taken seriously, you must shake hands and shake hands correctly.’”

Business Etiquette: How to Be More Productive in the Office via Diane Gottsman:  “One study found that 66 percent of office workers typically spend up to 30 minutes of time each week, or nearly 76 hours each year, looking for misplaced items, everything from file folders to flash drives. Maintain an organized office, designating space for active projects and files to be archived. Keep the things you need most often within easy reach. Tidy up your desk at the end of the day so you arrive to a fresh work-space each morning. Purge files once a week as projects are completed.”

Top 10 Business Etiquette Tips for New College Graduates via The Etiquette School of NY: “Know what is appropriate, and what does not reflect positively upon you, when you use your social networking tools. Every communication in the virtual, as well as the real world, is an opportunity to make an impression–either positive or negative. Master the art of mingling, networking, and making small talk. Being skillful at mingling and networking will not only help you get a job, but it will also help you stand out in your new job. Knowing how to make small talk is an important executive skill; knowing how to graciously walk up, start a conversation, build rapport, and graciously exit one is extremely important if you want to succeed in today’s global environment.”

How do you maintain office etiquette with millennial employees? I’d love to know — please share in the comments!

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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