Counsel Employee about Basic Manners?

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
1386 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I don’t see what the big issue is about her not saying good morning when she comes into the office. If anything, I might would just mention to her to please knock if she needs something. Some people aren’t great at personal skills and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Post # 3
Member
5942 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

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Overjoyed :  I agree with a PP. I don’t think these are things to school someone on. I work in a department of 6 and we are all pretty different. I sing good morning to whomever is there at the time and some people only say hi to people they happen to see on the way to the desk. I sort of look at it as, “It’s someone I wouldn’t have pizza after work with.” But no biggie.

Post # 4
Member
1007 posts
Bumble bee

Does she have a mentor or someone she chats with regularly about career development on a continual basis?  If so, I think that might be the right person to help coach her on corporate culture.  I’ve found that it’s hard for managers to do if you don’t have a good rapport with the person.

Post # 6
Member
5085 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

Yeah, I wouldn’t bring that up unless it actually became an issue. Some people are socially awkward and have a hard time with pleasantries. Some people just want to do their work and go home. If she came to you and asked about how to better interact with her coworkers, then have at it, otherwise I don’t think it’s your place. The only part I might mention is that she should knock before entering your office. 

The US is a big country and there are a lot of different white people. I would say that not saying good morning is probably much more regional than it is based in race or nationality and even then I don’t think it’s a strong stereotype. I’ve actually heard that Americans tend to be more overly friendly than people in some other countries and I have noticed this tendancy a bit on my travels. 

Post # 7
Member
8967 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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Overjoyed :  I wouldnt bother with the good morning thing, but definitely mention that she needs to be better at interrupting (which is what she does when she barges in) because that is actively rude. And as a Caucasian American I can assure you it’s not a cultural norm to not say good morning. My co-workers and I say it every day to each other. 

Post # 8
Member
5942 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

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Overjoyed :  Haha! I AM American! So culturally, no, I don’t think it’s inherently American to not say hello. I literally will sing it most mornings, I’m just a happy go lucky kind of gal! Other people won’t say it. One gal won’t even say the GOOD with morning becuase (in her words) what’s good about it? LOL! I think you hit the nail on the head, she is just not overly friendly in an office setting for some reason. Maybe not in her out of office life either?

Post # 10
Member
1235 posts
Bumble bee

Can you hold a general team/department training session on cultural etiquette? I wouldn’t single her out for sure.

Post # 11
Member
5085 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

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Overjoyed :  I would say that it’s an issue if it’s affecting her work. Not saying good morning really isn’t affecting anything other than irking you. If she were in a customer service position, then yes, I’d bring it up if she’s not greeting customers, otherwise, I’d let it go. As far as bosses preferences, the newspaper example is something that was department wide. If you want to have a staff meeting and stress the importance of a friendly office culture, that’s fine, but I don’t like the idea of singling someone out for something that is likely more about their personality than their work performance.

Post # 13
Member
1386 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

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Overjoyed :  So…are you just going to tell her that you don’t like that she doesn’t say good morning and expect her to change? I get that you do things to get on your bosses’s good side, but if mine told me he expected me to do something out of character I would definitely feel like he was trying to micro-manage my life. You are Jane’s boss yes but I think you are making this a bigger deal than it is. As far as white Americans not saying hello, I don’t think it’s fair to generalize, I work in an office that is made up of 75% white people (in America) and I think we are all cordial and polite to each other. Sometimes this includes saying good morning or hello, but it isn’t every single day. You can’t really dictate, IMO, how personable someone is in your office. We had a co-worker who simply never would talk unless directly spoken to and even then would only say a few words, no one thought he was rude, he was just quiet and we all got used to it.

Post # 14
Member
1235 posts
Bumble bee

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Overjoyed :  Could you hold an executive team training, specifically targeting those misconceptions?  That is, openly address the fact that you’ve heard through the grapevine that previous trainings gave the impression that other members of the company are culturally inferior/backwards and this is specifically to correct that idea and ensure better cooperation across the company.

Basically, my real point is that that trying to give her this individual feedback is going to be awkward at best, poorly received at worst.  And it sounds like she is just the most egregious in her “cultural insensitivity” but not the only person demonstrating it?  So maybe this would be beneficial information to be shared with the entire team?

Post # 15
Member
11404 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

In some cultures/places, it’s expected that you say good morning, good evening etc when entering and exiting; e.g., in Paris, you are expected to say those things when entering exiting a shop. In America, unless I was in the south, I wouldn’t do that unless I knew the people or it was slow. 

So I do think there can be basic expectations of courtesy and polite behavior that are regional and cultural. They are not, however, a race issue imo. 

I would tell her that you are looking for employees who boost morale, such as saying good morning to co-workers. List a few other examples. You’re the boss, you’re entitled to want a certain kind of workplace and prefer certain behaviors and more importantly you were hired to boost morale and break down this snobby reputation. 

I wouldn’t make her job conditional on saying good morning, of course. Avoid the Office Space 37 pieces of flair mentality, but let her know of your preferences and the kind of environment you’re hoping to create.

 

 

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