News and advice on business etiquette — August 2014

Some do’s and don’ts of taking clients out for meals on the company. Plus, a recent survey shows that nearly half of Canadians would consider moving out of province for a job, while another indicates that Edmonton is the least female-friendly city in the country.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

Q: I often take clients out for meals on the company. What are some of the dos and don’ts of entertaining for business?

A: Wining and dining clients was the status quo before the recession hit and companies started tightening their purse strings. There is value in entertaining clients, as long as the experience is both fun and productive, says Frank Auddino, a business consultant and president of Ajax, Ont.-based Vitaliz Inc. (a company that coaches clients on management and relationship building). "In today’s world of texting and emailing, customer relationship building via lunch or dinner is a lost art, but breaking bread is a great way to nurture personal business relationships," Auddino says. "Technology is impersonal and, while it’s a necessity, it will never replace the face time provided by talking with clients in a more informal environment."

That said, there are a few rules you should follow: "Bring your manners, skip the alcohol, indulge your client with topical conversation, and don’t forget that it’s inappropriate to get down to business before the waiter brings the menu," he says. Another word of advice: your superiors will appreciate it if you keep costs low, so skip the $100 porterhouse.

— Lisa van de Geyn

ED-MEN-TON

Worst place for women

Edmonton is the least female-friendly city in the country, finds a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The research compares how men and women fare in terms of economic security, leadership, health, personal security and education in Canada’s 20 largest metropolitan areas. Of the cities ranked, Edmonton has the largest gender gap in both access to full-time employment (68% of men versus 48% of women) and employment incomes (women earn 60% of male wages, a discrepancy of $21,000 per year). The city has just one woman holding elected municipal office and rates of police-reported sexual assault are among the highest of those studied.

In contrast, Quebec City is the study’s top-ranked city for women, thanks to relatively small gaps between men’s and women’s earnings and access to full-time work, as well as near gender-parity on city council and the lowest rates of police-reported sexual and domestic violence of the cities ranked. For the full list, go to cpacanada.ca/mag/women.

— Tamar Satov

RELOCATION INCENTIVES

An offer they can’t refuse

Nearly half (45%) of Canadians would consider moving out of province for a job — assuming a 10% raise and paid moving expenses are part of the deal, says a study for the Canadian Employee Relocation Council. What else can employers add to the bargain to change a maybe to a yes? Here are the respondents’ top five incentives:

  • additional 10% raise (48%)
  • guarantee that you could move back to your current role after two years with further relocation assistance (39%)
  • assistance for spouse/partner to find employment in the new city (31%)
  • paid trip to visit the city before the assignment to see what it’s like (23%)
  • a one-time relocation allowance equivalent to 5% of gross salary (23%).

— TS