Protocol International is a service company that specializes in professional development and image enhancement for businesses, corporations, organizations, associations and individuals through workshops, surveys, training and one-on-one coaching.
In her column, The Polished Professional, Protocol’s President Cheryl Walker-Robertson states that the holiday season is a great time to spread love, happiness and cheer. But beware of workplace faux pas.
“As we become increasingly diverse in the workplace, it is also a great time to remember that one’s culture and beliefs may influence how they prefer to celebrate the holiday. While one co-worker may enjoy the spinning/singing Santa on your desk, it may offend someone else. Let’s practice sensitivity and protocol by applying the following tips when trying to keep holiday cheer flowing at work,” she writes.
Here are Protocol’s tips for Holiday Etiquette:
1. Practice Holiday Card Etiquette
It is proper etiquette to give out cards that say “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays.” It will avoid any awkward moments or apologies. If you do not know your co-workers well, but don’t want to exclude anyone in the holiday card exchange, the more generic the card the better.
2. Give Practical Gifts
Save personalized gifts for those work friends or co-workers that you really know well. If you are participating in the office holiday party, give gifts that are practical. For example, a very nice desk calendar, a journal or coffee mug are – safe gifts. Gift cards are also great if you happen to know the individual’s favorite restaurant or coffee shop.
Stay away from things that may appear inappropriate or distasteful. Some examples, gifts around sex, personal hygiene, politics or religion should be avoided.
3. Be Respectful of Everyone
The holidays are shared by people who just enjoy it as a festive time, while others use it as time to share in religious practices associated with that particular holiday. No matter the reason, be mindful of the words you choose or the ways in which you express your love of, or indifference to the season.