How to Follow Protocol at a Workplace

Understand the company's protocol so you can follow it appropriately.

Every workplace has its own set of customs and regulations that it expects its employees to follow. Without protocol, the company cannot maintain organization and therefore loses control. Employees would wear whatever they want to work, and behave according to their own rules. Failure to comply with protocol in the workplace can lead to dismissal. Consequently, if you hope to have a promising future with the company, you must follow the protocol.

Begin with the job-seeking process. Do not wait until you get the job to know the company’s culture. When applying for the job, research the company so you understand its background. Visit its website and observe its professionalism and style. For instance, a construction company’s website might say that it has a “laid-back and friendly office staff.” This indicates that it most likely has a casual atmosphere.

When you arrive for the interview, examine the environment carefully. If possible, watch how the employees interact with each other--take note of the language used. During the interview, ask the interviewer about your role and get details of what is expected of you.

Read the policy manual. The manual includes important information on the company’s protocol. This includes dress code, how to handle complaints and grounds for termination. Do not gloss over the manual--read it carefully so you know what not to do.

Form alliances with experienced coworkers. No one knows the company better than someone who has been there for a long time. This person has seen it all and can become an adviser to you--one that helps you to avoid common mistakes.

Remain observant. By staying aware, you can pick up changes that have not yet become common knowledge. For instance, if all the managers suddenly start arriving to work earlier than they used to, the company might be planning to implement a new system. Being aware helps you to mentally prepare for the change if it happens.

Do not conform to what you know is wrong. If some of your coworkers choose to ignore the company’s protocol, do not try to fit in by mimicking their behavior. It is better to be unpopular with these individuals than to lose your job.

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.