In a rare instance of its kind, State Bank of India, a multi-national public sector company, has issued a circular to its staff that lists out multiple customary codes of conduct and manners that are to be followed by its employees in office to “enhance the image of the bank”. From professional dress code to hygiene, grooming and etiquette, the sheet highlights multiple suggestions and tips that the staff should adhere to.
However, a point under the ‘social etiquette tips’ highlights a point that has created quite a buzz. According to the pamphlet issued by the bank, the staff is requested to ‘avoid belching when in a meeting or among others; as it is highly irritating’. While, burping is quite common, it clearly falls under the discourteous category, according to this statement. Moreover, in the second bit, they state that ‘slipping into common language in a formal meeting is considered unprofessional’. There has been no clarification as to what comes under “common language”.
Under the other grooming tips category, the circular asked its employees to “match their shoe colour with the belt” and also said that “the sock should ‘ideally’ complement or match the trousers”. Moreover, many more fashion tips were offered in the circular such as “blazers mostly go well with contrast or same colour trousers”. The circular has been issued by the deputy managing director and corporate development officer of the Human Resources department.
While it is quite common for a workplace to have a certain set of rules and regulations, sometimes the restrictions tend to be unusual, or bizarre. While some tips mentioned by SBI do fit in the usual category, there are other suggestions that seem to be quite absurd.
Interestingly, internationally too, there are many absurd regulations for employees that are bound to make you question the organisation. For instance, Amazon does not allow its warehouse workers to bring any personal items onto the floor and are quite strict about it. While most companies rely on e-mails and phone calls, Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin thinks differently. Evernote has removed all telephones from its office and discourages e-mails among employees.