The new workplace etiquette?

This may be a bit of a departure from our usual blogs, where we talk about the marketing challenges (and opportunities) that bank marketers face on a daily basis. But, I couldn’t resist talking about something, well, “slightly different”; especially since just a few weeks ago we talked about the challenges that banks face in recruiting and retaining top talent. 

If you recall, I mentioned a recent American Banker article that focused largely on what banks can do to address their recruitment issues by “working hard at culture” with steps such as “strengthening the relationships between coworkers, giving team members maximum exposure to leadership, enhancing their skills so they feel like they are true experts in their field, and engaging with them on their future goals so they can chart a path forward.”

Even so, it appears, 30% of new hires leave their job at a bank within the first 90 days and retention among non-officers is barely 25%.  So, what, exactly is going on?

Perhaps, this recent Career Builder article sheds some light.  It did for me.  In The new office etiquette: Rules for today's workplace, Career Builder outlines, well, you guessed it; rules for today’s workplace.  And reading through this, for me, was a somewhat frightening look into what today’s employers are facing when recruiting. “Here are some tips, the article says, “you can use to get along well with co-workers and supervisors and advance your career.”

“Stay off social media: People can view your social media posts from years ago, and what's acceptable can change over time. Posts that were perfectly fine when you made them could become offensive later, because of recent current events or changes to laws. It's a good idea to set your social media accounts to private or friends only. That way, an employer won't decide not to hire or promote you because they don't like one of your past social media posts. It's also a good idea to avoid surfing social media, especially while you're at work.”

Here’s a thought. Instead of setting your account to private or friends only, just don’t post anything inflammatory or just plain stupid. And, should you ever be surfing your social media accounts while at work? Answer seems pretty obvious to me; that’s not what you’re getting paid to do, so stay off your personal device.  Keep in mind, too, that if you’re using employer-issued equipment, your employer may very well be monitoring your site visits, screen time, and key strokes. In short, remember that professional and personal lives don’t mix.

“Take phone calls in private; Most people have cell phones, and getting an occasional personal call at work is normal. However, you should avoid taking these calls at your desk and letting others hear your personal business. Instead, take a brief walk outside or go to an empty conference room. That way, you can talk privately without disturbing other people who want to concentrate on their work.”

Here’s a thought.  First, getting personal phone calls at work is not “normal.” Tell your friends not to call you at work. And, by the way, a conference room is not an employee’s own personal phone booth. 

“Don't gossip about others: Gossiping about other people often says more about you than those you discuss. When you speculate about the personal lives of others or spread rumors that may not be true, you show people that you can't be trusted to keep confidence. You could even hurt your chances for a promotion. When others gossip, don't participate.”

Here’s a thought: Talking trash about people is juvenile – and, at the very least, non-productive – whether done personally or professionally. “Hurt your chances for a promotion”? More like, increase your chances of getting terminated.

“Watch your language: Avoid cursing at the office. Also, avoid songs with lots of cursing or graphic language. It's OK to wear headphones to listen to this type of music occasionally, but don't make them a constant fixture on your head. That way, you can respond immediately if someone needs to talk to you or you get a phone call.”

Here’s a thought:  Let me get this straight. First off, do we really need to remind adults (or at least aspiring adults) that they shouldn’t use foul language in the office? Wow. Secondly… if you want to wear headphones, it’s probably a good idea to first get permission from your supervisor.  And if he or she asks why you want to wear them, it’s probably a good idea not to say that you want to listen to songs with graphic language.

“Knock before entering: Whether you're entering a conference room or a co-worker's cubicle, it's polite to knock before you go in. That way, you can avoid interrupting or distracting people.”

Here’s a thought:  I think I read this once in a book titled, “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.  Also, don’t forget to flush, and wash your hands when you’re done . For more helpful tips, visit where you can buy the book!

“Dress professionally: Even if you're working from home, it's a good idea to dress professionally. That way, you'll be prepared if there's a last-minute virtual meeting. Pajamas might be comfy, but they can look very unprofessional. It can also be pretty embarrassing when you get out of your chair to grab a drink or pet your dog and everyone sees that you're not wearing pants.”

Here’s a thought: Never wear pajamas to work.  Oh, and don’t get up from a video call to pet your dog, either.  PS: Keep a calendar so you know when your meetings are held!

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