According to hr.com, "proper manners provide an enormous competitive advantage." Business etiquette can range from keeping personal office space clean to knowing how to communicate properly over the phone and by email. Games help get employees thinking about how they carry and present themselves to partners, clients and co-workers.
Create several examples of emails that are inappropriate for work. Make one with a decorative font, one written in slang or with offensive language, one that leaves a silly email address for a return contact, one that is abrupt or rude, and one that uses poor grammar. Create as many as needed according to the number of participants.
Project four emails on a projector screen at a time: three that are well written and professional, and one that is unprofessional for any of the above reasons or for any other reason you choose. Ask participants to eliminate the bad email and explain why it is inappropriate for work. Because email is the newest form of communication and is constantly adapting, it's important to remind employees that business etiquette online is easy to overlook.
Rent a few handheld video recorders from a library or electronics company. Split the employees attending etiquette training into even groups, depending on how many recorders you have. Ask each group to come up with a hypothetical situation involving work space cleanliness.
Subject matter may include cluttered desks, disorganization, leaving food out in common areas, or personal hygiene. Encourage playfulness and humor, but also mention that projects must reflect real-life experiences and concerns.
Do not allow names of actual employees to be mentioned. Give each group three days to write, record and present their movie to the group.
If you can't obtain video recorders, use the same exercise as a role-playing game that can be created and performed on the spot.
Tell all employees involved in etiquette training that they will receive a call, but don't tell them exactly when. Write a skit pretending to be an outside company that would like to do business. Make up a name, a purpose for desiring a partnership, and exactly what you will say. Grade each employee on responsiveness (whether she picked up the phone or how soon she got back to you), politeness, helpfulness and enthusiasm. Discuss each employee's results with her individually.
Michael Monet has been writing professionally since 2006. At the San Francisco School of the Arts, he studied under writers Octavio Solis and Michelle Tea, performed his work in Bay Area theaters and was published in literary journals such as "Paradox," "Umlaut" and "Transfer." Monet also studied creative writing at Eugene Lang College in New York and Mills College in Oakland.