It is one year since please and thanks launched and, as we enter our second year, our campaign to promote courtesy in UK business still has much to achieve.
We firmly believe that, as well as making life better for everyone, courtesy is very beneficial to business, leading to increased productivity and profitability.
Courtesy has an impact at every level, from the chief executives and directors to the most junior employees and, of course, to customers.
At the most basic level, it means saying please and thanks to show our appreciation for other people, but it can also be used as a powerful tool to reduce stress, anger and bullying in the workplace.
Anyone who sees polite behaviour as a soft touch is deluding themselves. It is much easier to bully than to be polite. The most effective leaders and managers have the strength to be courteous to their people – they have nothing to prove, because people recognise their strength and respect it.
So, rather than some quaint, old-fashioned view that polite behaviour should be re-introduced purely because it is nice, please and thanks sees courtesy as a necessity for any successful business.
Who is responsible for courtesy? All of us: chief executives, directors, managers, supervisors and all levels of employee. Everyone can play a valuable role in a business, but it is courtesy that is likely to make the difference between someone who serves their time at work without making any effort and someone who contributes to the success of the business.
Courtesy must also be practised continuously. We all have our off-days, but these should not prevent us from striving to act as courteously as possible and from admitting to lapses and apologising when we know we have not behaved as well as we should have done. We live in the real world, not in a dream.
So, if you want to be more courteous to your colleagues in 2005 or wish to start a courtesy initiative in your business, please use the free resources available for download in our courtesy toolkit – we will be adding to these through the year.
And if you want to sponsor please and thanks, which is entirely non-profit-making and non-political, we welcome your support.
Thank you and good luck.