Virginia Tech says “Business etiquette refers to the requirements and expectations of social and business behavior, practices and conduct that are prescribed by social convention, and a code of ethical behavior among professionals. It basically boils down to demonstrating good manners.” December is a month for celebration and a time that calls business etiquette into play. Holidays at this time include: Hanukkah (December 7-15), Christmas (December 25), and Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1). Of course, there are some who don’t celebrate any of these holidays. From a business perspective, what is the best way to handle greetings in this holiday season? This may seem like a small thing, but you don’t want to be faulted for doing something wrong.
Part of business etiquette is being respectful to everyone. No one wants to offend anyone, so how do you express your best wishes to employees, customers and clients, vendors, and other business associates during this holiday season? It may depend on who you’re addressing. Obviously, if an employee is wearing an ugly Christmas sweater, it’s safe to assume that person would appreciate a Merry Christmas greeting.
If you are unsure of how to proceed, keep it general. “Happy Holidays” usually is fine, as this is a time when many businesses are closed, so people are on holiday. “Happy New Year” is another neutral expression of good will at this time of the year.
Method of delivery
Conveying holiday good wishes can be done in person, through email, with greeting cards, or in general social media post. There’s no one right way to proceed. Choose the method that suits your situation.
Tip: If you’re sending out pre-printed greeting cards from the company, personalize it by signing (or having several people sign) and add some sentiment. Examples: Thanks for a great year; looking forward to 2024.
If you’re expressing holiday good wishes, don’t treat this as a selling opportunity. Keep it strictly a measure of good will.
If you choose to express holiday greetings, don’t leave anyone out. Be inclusive. For example, if you express holiday greetings to employees in your office, don’t forget about remote workers; they deserve greetings too.
If the holiday season has slipped by and you haven’t been able to reach out to those you’d like to extend good wishes to, it’s never too late. And take this as a lesson to get started early for your 2024 holiday greeting. Mark your calendar in September or October to plan for your holiday greetings for 2024.
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and Happy New Year and no offense to anyone. Two quotes say it better:
“Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
“May the Spirit of the Holidays be with you throughout the New Year.” ~ Source unknown