Professional Courtesy Today -- Is It Dead?

Article excerpt

All employees, regardless of their job responsibilities, serve as ambassadors for your organization. Many, however, may be unaware of the impact their behavior has on your organization's reputation. Their interactions, or lack thereof, with individuals outside the organization create lasting impressions. Are your employees aware of the picture you want painted and do they know how to paint it? Have you observed what they are doing or failing to do? Have you talked to them and provided a vision and direction?

Generally, people in senior management, sales representatives, customer service representatives, marketing personnel and others routinely interacting with the outside world understand the importance of extending professional courtesies. Retraining or reminders are good for everyone.

Two less obvious areas of business in which employees engage with the public are purchasing (i.e., anyone acting in a purchasing capacity on an incident or regular basis) and hiring (i.e., HR professionals or anyone functioning as a hiring authority or perceived to be one.)

Sadly many people in these roles employ a strategy of ignoring prospective suppliers or unsolicited job applicants regardless of the method of communication used, voice mail, email, snail mail, FedEx, UPS, telegrams, texts, sky writing, smoke signals.

Prospective suppliers or unsolicited job applicants often understand that the timing of their communication attempts may be inopportune so they continue trying regardless of whether there are responses. Although the shunned may not be "entitled" to a response, why run the unnecessary risk of creating a negative image or even making enemies? How does that serve your interests?

It's your organization, and it's up to you to decide how you want to be perceived. You control your image and shape your destiny. Word-of-mouth marketing is so important, and in today's world of social media, it is as fast as the next tweet on Twitter! …