Bad behavior can become an epidemic if left unchecked.  It is often difficult for management to monitor office etiquette if everyone is on their best behavior when the boss walks by.  This creates frustration when working with offenders.

There are a few simply strategies to help restore peace and professionalism to the workplace.

Be the example – In the infamous (and potentially misquoted) words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  Everyone is a role model, not just management.  In fact, managers can sometimes be “patient X” of the poor etiquette epidemic.  Be friendly, helpful and encouraging to colleagues.

Know the policies – Before becoming too upset about offensive behavior, check the employee handbook or with a human resources representative.

Have a heart to heart – Calmly talk with the offender.  Many times they are unaware that their actions are in poor taste or negatively affecting others.

If all else fails…ask for help – If working it out on your own does not work or makes the situation worse, seek help from you manager or human resources representative.

Remember, you don’t need to like everyone you work with, but you should be able to peacefully coexist.  Poor office etiquette impacts everyone’s productivity and morale.  Dealing with offenders can be intimidating, but it will help everyone in the end.

David Klein is a leading Executive IT Recruiter & Headhunter with over 15 years industry experience.  As Manager of Recruitment Strategy for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. David has successfully led, trained and introduced many in the art of Executive Recruitment and Headhunting. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact David at 646-650-2833 or