Did You Know:
Etiquette among staff can significantly impact the overall vibe and productivity of a laboratory environment—for better or worse. On the surface, many lab leaders may assume proper manners and etiquette are automatically expected from all lab staff; however, defining the specifics of proper etiquette in a lab setting can actually be difficult because everyone may have their own interpretation.
To prevent pent-up frustrations and ensure a positive work environment, outline expectations during the onboarding process of any new employee, and re-enforce major cleanliness or safety procedures with signage throughout the lab.
When discussing lab etiquette, avoid negative wording (e.g. “don’t do this”) and instead rephrase in a more positive, instructive way. Encourage your staff to address any pain points or issues early on, before tensions boil over and cause a more serious conflict. Make yourself available to mediate potentially problematic conversations among staff members, and try to identify the root cause of an individual’s poor etiquette, as often their behavior isn’t intentional (e.g. an overworked team member doesn’t have time to clean their glassware).