Common Email Etiquette Mistakes and the Importance of Digital Protocol

Virtual communicationsProfessionals today constantly communicate via email. In some cases, it is the primary means of contact and exchange. Yet because email facilitates both casual communications among friends and formal communications in the workplace, sometimes that distinction can become blurred – and professional communications take on a too-casual tone.

In the workplace, it is important to have clearly defined protocol that supports professional, well-crafted emails that protect the image of the sender and his or her company. To some readers this may be obvious, but the mistakes outlined in this blog still occur all the time.

Here are several common email etiquette mistakes to keep in mind as you write your own professional emails.

  • Misuse of Reply-All
    The reply-all button can cause frustration and embarrassment when it is not used properly. Be conscious of when you need to reply-all to continue an ongoing conversation. Failing to include everyone who should be on an email chain will cut others out of the loop and will create delays and confusion.That said, be very aware when you should not reply-all. Constantly replying-all when others no longer need to be part of a conversation perpetuates email overload. Also, you may share sensitive information that you do not want others to read through an accidental reply-all. However, always remember that email is not a secure communication, so never send an email that would embarrass you if shared or one that contains confidential information.
  • Overly Casual Salutations
    Have you ever opened a work-related email that began with the salutation “Hey”? Though this may be appropriate for a casual exchange among friends, it does not have a place in a professional setting.For external contacts, contacts you have never met, or to show a sign of respect to anyone, “Dear” is a reliable salutation. Once you develop a more informal rapport, “Hello” or “Hi” is an acceptable alternative.
  • Overly Casual Sign-Offs
    Like salutations, sign-offs can quickly become too informal. Again, for communications between unfamiliar or formal contacts, choose a classic sign-off such as “Best Regards” or “Sincerely.”Your level of formality in a sign-off will vary, depending on whether you are sending an initial email to an external connection or a quick response to an internal colleague. Still, know your audience: many contacts (even internal ones) will balk at a very casual sign-off such as “Cheers.” A more reliable sign-off in a more casual setting would be “Best.”For further analysis on email sign-offs, Forbes has compiled a list of 57 common – and not so common – sign-offs, along with commentary on each.
  • Vague or Absent Subject Line
    When writing an email, it is important to remember that your email will take up the recipient’s valuable time, and that your email will be one among many in an overcrowded inbox. Therefore it is important to have a clear, concise, and specific title in the subject line.Do not forget to include a subject before you send an email. A blank subject line suggests that you hastily sent a message without reviewing it first. This will reflect poorly on the rest of your communication.
  • Grammar or Spelling Mistakes
    Even though an email is not an official document, be sure to read it over before sending to make sure you do not have grammar or spelling mistakes. Consistently sending emails with typos will make you look sloppy and could reflect on your other work as well.Also, be wary of the auto-correct function on your email server or phone. Although it is meant to correct typos, it often supplies a word that you did not mean to type. This could get confusing for both sender and receiver!

Techno-communication etiquette is an indispensible component of our Business Etiquette Training Program. As technology continues to advance, this topic will become even more relevant. Make sure you are well versed in the guidelines of digital communication protocol.

You May Also Enjoy:

When is Punctuality Important for Business?

Question: When is punctuality important for business?
Answer: Always!

The importance of being on time is taught to us from a very young age. It should be no surprise, then, that lessons in punctuality stay relevant throughout our lives and work.

One more hour ar134383890972537Punctuality informs many aspects of Executive Presence. Being on time helps you to establish a good reputation and allows others to trust you. When you are punctual, your professional image appears polished and organized, rather than hurried and haphazard. Above all, it’s simply the professional standard to be consistently punctual. Yet many people still fail to meet this standard.

Here are a few examples of professional contexts where punctuality is key – and why being on time can be a deal breaker. If you are someone who is chronically late, let these examples inspire you to become an early bird!

First Impressions: Interviews & Initial Meetings
It should go without saying, but it is never acceptable to be late to an interview. This is such a common standard that some employers will refuse to interview a candidate if he or she is even one or two minutes late.

Other than interviews, there are many contexts where first impressions and punctuality go hand in hand. For example, consider the early stages of a partnership or a deal. If the person with whom you are negotiating walks into a meeting 10 minutes late, would you trust them to stay organized and present throughout your relationship? The answer is likely no. In this case, something as harmless as a bad habit can ruin a business relationship before it begins.

Meeting Deadlines and Completing Work on Time
When you consistently complete documents, finish projects, or produce any other kind of output on time, it reflects positively on your work ethic and your quality of work. Not only will colleagues notice your personal standards, but also they will acknowledge your commitment to your company and its success.

By contributing your own work on time, your actions show that you want your company to stay on track and meet its goals. Others in your organization will take note – and such clear demonstration of dedication to a company is a solid foundation for advancing within that organization.

Arriving on Time to Internal Meetings
For regular internal meetings, some employees may deprioritize their importance and take a casual approach – which often entails showing up late. Even though regular meetings often are not as critical as an initial meeting or a deal, do not assume that they are not “important.”

Close colleagues may understand if you occasionally are late due to bad traffic or a long appointment. However, avoid making a habit out of tardiness to internal meetings. After a while, those in your company will begin to notice your style and it will begin to hinder how they perceive you. Importantly, this could affect how you do – or do not – advance within your company.

Above we list just a few examples of the many contexts in which punctuality is key to success. After all, there is much truth to the saying, “the early bird catches the worm!”


How the Little Details Matter for Executive Presence

Have you ever noticed how much subtle details can make a big difference? In the content of your work, in the way you behave and present yourself, and in your image and attire – the little details matter. Even when minor details seem inconsequential, the truth is they all contribute to the whole of your success.

It is no surprise that “attention to detail” is a requirement for nearly any job and a quality of a strong candidate or employee. Here are a few of many examples of how “little details” are important, and how those in your work, behaviour, and professional image contribute to your Executive Presence.

Attention to Detail in your Work
Subtle details in how you conduct your everyday work can show massive differences in the quality of your work and can set you apart from other professionals.

  • When you write a document for your job, how many times do you proofread it before sending to others? Do you quickly review only once – or do you carefully re-read it four or five times? Though it can seem like a minor step at the end of a task, carefully reviewing completed work is a small yet important task for professionals who are always aiming to improve their output.
  • Aside from your day-to-day work, how invested are you in your field, your company, and yourself in a long-term perspective? Small initiatives along the way can help you to develop and assert yourself in your field. Get involved in your field through industry publications and conferences, and develop your industry-specific skills through the trainings they offer. Viewed alone, these can seem like small acts. Yet they will lend you a competitive advantage that can make a big difference.

Attention to Detail in your Behaviour
Whether they are aware of it or not, others rely on subtle cues in your behaviour to assess whether you are approachable, poised, and professional.

  • When meeting someone for the first time, these small cues are of utmost importance. Are you making eye contact while shaking hands? Is your handshake firm? Are you smiling? Even if you are enthusiastic about meeting a new person, they may not think so unless these qualities align with your positive attitude.
  • During a presentation, you need more than just the content of your speech and slides to make it effective. Here, small details about your behaviour and self-presentation are often as important as the material you present. Are you standing with good posture in a strong, confident position? Is your voice dynamic and clear? Are you looking at your audience and inviting them to engage with you?These small details are often forgotten when presenters get nervous and simply want to get off the stage as soon as possible. But these elements can make or break a great presentation.

Attention to Detail in your Professional Image
There are so many components that comprise a great professional image, it is no wonder that details make up a balanced whole.

  • Think a missing button is small and unnoticeable? Think again. A missing button – or a small stain, a tear, or a frayed fabric – may be physically small, but will draw much attention and dominate the entire outfit. Don’t let one tiny detail ruin your professional image.

  • When it comes to accessories, subtle differences can reflect your style as a professional. Take the example of Tom’s business cards from our Executive Presence video. Tom removes his business card from a wallet that is stuffed, messy, and overflowing. This reflects poorly on Tom as a disorganized professional. A slim, clean business card holder would suggest otherwise.

Whether in a first impression through attire or conduct, or a lasting impression with your quality of work, subtle details always matter. These details will add up to give you a competitive edge and enhance your Executive Presence.

A Place for Business Dining Etiquette in Post-Secondary Education

Many post-secondary degree programs in commerce, management, and business incorporate dining etiquette training and other related seminars into their course requirements. Ranging anywhere from one afternoon session to a full course lasting several weeks, any introduction to business etiquette skills can set up young professionals for success.

The only problem is, many etiquette programs seemed to be confined only to management or commerce programs. Other departments and faculties often do not acknowledge their students’ need for business etiquette training. Yet business etiquette provides countless strategies and techniques for professionals in any field – especially while dining for business, when much of the protocol is not intuitive, but instead consists of learned conventions.

In addition, nearly any professional could find him or herself taking part in a business meal. Whether it includes an interview over a meal, dinner with an honoured guest, a business deal or client relationship forged over lunch, or networking during a cocktail party – any of these situations requires a set of business dining skills.

Here are several common mistakes that occur during business meals – and solutions that business dining etiquette can provide.

  • Uncertainty around place setting; use of wrong bread plate and water glass.
    When we are in unfamiliar or uncertain situations, we can feel out of control and lose our confidence. This can certainly happen during a business meal, when diners unfamiliar with the setting can get so caught up in the details that they forget to focus on the business at hand. Simple knowledge of using the bread plate to the left and the water glass to the right can allow a diner to shift his or her attention to the important issues and not worry too much about the small details of the meal.
  • Conversations that are too controversial or too personal.
    There are certain topics of conversation that should never be broached during a business meal, such as deeply personal questions or controversial issues. Business meals are about forging relationships, not inciting debate. Yet it is equally important to have a pulse on the conversation and know when – or when not – to talk business, as some prefer to discuss deals only after a meal. Dining etiquette can teach professionals to be sensitive and aware of the course of conversation during a meal.
  • Drinking alcohol during a business meal.
    Ordering alcohol can be a major faux pas during a business meal. Diners, especially junior staff, should not order alcohol unless the host does and invites others to do so as well. If alcohol is part of the meal, it is best to stick to one glass for the evening. Especially for those new to business dining, etiquette training can clarify any awkwardness or uncertainty about ordering alcohol during a business meal.
  • Networking cocktail parties are about building relationships, not about food and drink.
    At networking events, cocktails and small plates are often an added benefit to an evening function. Yet the focus of the event is not the food, but rather to build connections with others and make great first impressions. Business dining etiquette training can help to make this important distinction, as well as provide solutions for focusing on the networking element of the event – such as having a snack before attending or planning a dinner in advance of the event.

We have conducted business etiquette seminars at over a dozen colleges and universities across Canada and we are committed to the success of emerging young professionals. Contact us today if you are interested in Corporate Class Inc. presenting at your institution.

Five Reasons Why You Need an Image Consultant

Business group portraitEvery so often, it is useful to take a good, long look in the mirror and to ask ourselves whether our image needs an update. However, this can be a daunting task to undertake all on one’s own – especially if we cannot pinpoint exactly how to go about revising a “look.”

This is a great opportunity to enlist an image consultant for assistance. An image consultant can help you to identify the elements of your image in need of improvement, and can give you the tools to care for and improve your image in the future.

Here are five issues you might identify with your image – and five great reasons why you might need to hire an image consultant.

  • My attire doesn’t feel appropriate for my workplace.
    Perhaps you have just started a new position in an office with a different corporate culture than your previous workplace. Or, you may have climbed the corporate ladder to a higher-level position. Whatever the reason, it can be uncomfortable to feel like your wardrobe does not adhere to your workplace standards.

    An image consultant can help you to find wardrobe pieces that fit within your office culture, and can also indicate for which occasions you should dress up a notch. She or he can also identify pieces that can easily transition between business casual and business attire.

  • My clothes don’t seem to fit right.
    No matter how put-together an outfit may look, if it does not fit appropriately on your body it simply will not look professional. Cut and fit matter as much as colour, style and coordination.

    An image consultant not only can help you to find pieces that fit properly, but also can identify which styles and cuts can be the most flattering for your body type. After all, feeling comfortable and confident in clothing contributes to overall presence.

  • I can’t determine which colours match or which colours go best with my skin tone.
    Clothing colour makes a huge difference in your attire. Clothing colour can project a bold or muted statement, and mismatched colours can send the wrong impression. In addition, clothing colour can be highly personalized: each skin tone matches a unique and individual colour palette.

    While it can be difficult to zero in on which colours match your skin tone and personality, the highly trained eye of an image consultant can help you to locate a palette that speaks to your personality and complements your skin and hair.

  • My hair and makeup need a retouch.
    Did you know that wearing makeup could make you appear more competent? According to a Proctor & Gamble study, makeup increases perceptions of a woman’s likability, competence and trustworthiness in the workplace. Of course, too much makeup can have the opposite effect, so there is a fine line between looking presentable and looking over-the-top.

    An image consultant can help you to locate the tools and techniques for office-ready makeup, and can also advise on grooming to ensure that you project a polished look.

  • I have trouble adjusting my wardrobe for the seasons.
    Here in Toronto, we go between extremes when the seasons change – from blazing heat in the summer to sub-zero temperatures in the winter. Of course, for each season we need an entirely different wardrobe to dress appropriately for the weather.

    An image consultant can help you find clothing choices that not only will accommodate the fluctuating temperatures, but also will look professional for work life. From finding an appropriate length and cut of dress in the summer, to finding hearty yet well-tailored winter gear, an image consultant can advise on any season.

At Corporate Class Inc., we offer Personal Image Enhancement for men and women as half-day, full-day or two-day trainings, as well as individual consultations. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.

For an inside look on the image consulting process that our clients experience, click here for the blog series A Personal Journey. In this 10-part series, we observe Liz, a young Corporate Class Inc. client, on her personal journey through our image enhancement programme to her ultimate destination: developing her own look of success.


Good Rapport Goes A Long Way

rapportA little respect goes a long way. In business, there is no exception to this rule: in fact, this piece of advice is extra important while conducting business. Building good rapport with others – or, building relationships that are based on mutual respect and trust – is one of the most consistent and foolproof strategies for success.

Although “building rapport” is often associated with the sales industry (in that sales professionals work to build good rapport with customers and clients), it is actually applicable to your relationships with any contact, no matter what profession or industry. Building good rapport is a key element of any relationship, whether with a close colleague or boss you speak to every day, or with a vendor or off-site contact you speak to once a month.

Rapport does not need to be a close connection or relationship; it simply means that others see you in a positive light. What are the benefits of establishing good rapport, and how can you work to develop good rapport with those around you?

The Benefits of Building Good Rapport

  • Most importantly, once you establish good rapport with someone, he or she will trust you and respect you. There is no price to buy trust and respect; these qualities can only be developed over time.
  • Others will be willing to help you out if and when you need it. If you treat others rudely, you will have few contacts to rely on when you suddenly need a favour. Good rapport acts as a safety net in times of need.
  • When you have good rapport with others, they may recommend you to another professional or company. People talk, and you never know what they might say or who might hear about you! Building good rapport all comes back to protecting and enhancing your reputation, a vital element of Executive Presence.

How Can You Develop Good Rapport?

  • Do not view others through a lens of hierarchy. Speak to everyone and treat everyone with the same respect that you would show the CEO of your company.
  • Draw upon your Executive Presence to demonstrate grace under fire. In most cases, people are not consistently disrespectful but can be provoked by certain stressful situations. As stress and pressure can bring out the worst in some people, practice keeping calm and collected so that this does not happen to you.
  • Listen to others. Even if you are leading or instructing, make sure that everyone is on board and that others’ voices are heard. When one person dominates a conversation, this does not lead to a professional relationship or good rapport – it’s a monologue.

Good rapport is applicable and important in our professional and personal lives. How do you build good rapport, and how has it helped you?

Your Path to Success: Executive Presence Workshop for Leaders and Executives, September 17 to 18 in Toronto

gotpresenceAs a leader in your field, you may have already reached your professional goals to become a corporate executive, a senior manager or an influential entrepreneur. Yet as a high-achieving professional, you know that you can always do more and go farther. But how do you step beyond your plateau of success?

To really set yourself apart from the crowd and allow yourself to achieve higher goals, enhancing your Executive Presence is essential. And our new Executive Presence Workshops designed specifically for leaders and executives can help you to do just that.

With our next session just around the corner on September 17 and 18 in Toronto, there is no better time than the present to develop your own Executive Presence and find the tools to continue striving for success.

What will you achieve in our workshop?
Over the course of two full days, we will explore the core tenets of Executive Presence and how you can apply them to your own life and work. Once you have learned these skills and characteristics, you will be able to:

  • Network with confidence – anywhere and with anyone
  • Build trust and respect, and enhance and protect your reputation
  • Attract clients, partners and other professional contacts
  • Become more inspiring, more influential and more persuasive
  • Achieve the next level in your career

These are just a few examples of the many ways in which you can improve your professional self by enhancing your Executive Presence.

What will we address in our workshop?
Through intensive training in small groups of 12 to 15 participants, we will address a full Executive Presence curriculum in just two days. For a full overview of our Executive Presence Program, click here. Highlights include:

  • The fundamental elements of Executive Presence
  • First Impressions: How they are created and how to make a great one
  • Communicating through body language, conversations and presentations
  • Working a room – from entrance to exit
  • Virtual Presence and Protocol

All of our training sessions are interactive and hands-on, including a formal luncheon for training in business dining etiquette.

What are participants saying about our workshop?
We have received overwhelmingly good reviews from previous participants of the Executive Presence Workshop for Leaders and Executives. Our participants have told us:

  • “The two-day training and subsequent assessment and coaching from Diane and Corporate Class have absolutely been a game-changer for me” – Bill Huffaker, Global Director of Talent Management and Acquisitions, Talent and Development, Human Resources, General Motors
  • “So much more than I expected. So relevant and powerful” – Gina Hayden, VP Operations, Life Success Productions, Proctor Gallagher Institute
  • “I learned a tremendous amount. All of you were so experienced, you had us all hanging on every word” – Marshall Will Williams, Program Director, TekPro Services

Our September session is filling up fast, so book now to ensure you will be part of the upcoming Executive Presence Workshop for Leaders and Executives. We look forward to meeting you in September, and to helping you reach your next professional level!

Top Team Building Activities

It’s inevitable: you spend a significant amount of your time with your coworkers. During that time, you collaborate with these colleagues on everything from major projects to quotidian tasks. Because of the time and trust required for effective collaboration, it is critical that you have positive relationships with your colleagues. In turn, these relationships will make your company stronger, more efficient and more successful.

Though building relationships is motivated and guided by individuals, companies can help by providing relationship-building opportunities in friendly, fun and relaxed environments in contexts other than the office. An organization can only benefit from strong internal relationships. What are some activities and opportunities that your company can offer to their employees?team-building1

  • Corporate Volunteering
    By volunteering together, colleagues can connect with one another by collaborating on tasks and challenges outside of their usual work. Corporate volunteering has the added benefit of contributing to a good cause and engaging in the local community, while providing an activity free of internal pressure for employees.This activity also has benefits for your company as a whole: studies show that corporate volunteering can boost employee retention and morale, and improve a company’s external image. Read more in our blog post on corporate volunteering.
  • Logic or Puzzle Activities
    An outing that includes solving puzzles can be excellent team-building opportunities. By engaging in activities that involve strategy or logic, coworkers will learn to work together on intellectual challenges. They will also recognize the mental strengths in one another. Games like the popular Escape Rooms, which involve solving interactive puzzles within an hour time limit, are good options as they can accommodate groups.
  • Entertainment-Based Outings
    Though the phrase “team-building” often invokes images of a day-long retreat or intense collaboration among colleagues, team-building activities can also be as simple as spending a day out on the town with staff. Social interaction without the stress of the office can work wonders for professional relationships.For example, suggest attending a baseball game, going bowling or simply heading out to dinner after work. Venues should be reasonably close to the office, so it is not too much of an effort for other staff members to attend. These activities may also be after-hours, and as such must be optional.
  • Staff Picnics
    In the summer months, stepping out of the office and into the sun can be a perfect respite from work. Allow colleagues to enjoy this together by planning a staff picnic. Providing classic picnic fare such as hot dogs, hamburgers and chips is also an easy way to boost employee morale.

Schedule a picnic for the middle of the day to allow colleagues to break together, or hold a company picnic on the weekend and suggest that staff bring their families. Inviting employees to introduce their families to one another is another way to foster relationships, as it allows colleagues to learn more about the family lives of others and connect on a more personal level.

Do you and your colleagues benefit by spending quality time together? For more on the effectiveness of team-building activities, check out Mashable’s blog post “Company Outings: Waste of Time or Great Investment?”

The Pros and Cons of Limited Email Use

Email guide1For so many of us, email supplies constant tasks throughout the workday. No matter what projects we have lined up or meetings we have scheduled, there is always the possibility of an email adding yet another task to our growing to-do lists.

But instead of checking email every time a new message pops into our inboxes, what if we had set (and limited) times to read emails throughout the day? This emerging trend is helping some professionals to manage the constant distraction of emails and to become more focused on tasks at hand. Could it work for you? In this blog post, we discuss the pros and cons of setting pre-determined times to check email.

Pros of Limiting Email Use
As much as we would like to become more efficient by multitasking, scientific research shows that multitasking simply does not make us more productive. In fact, it can actually limit our productivity by spreading our focus too thin.

In a recent article in the New York Times, Professor Daniel J. Levitin of McGill University addresses the problems of multitasking. According to Dr. Levitin, avoiding multitasking and instead focusing on a single activity at a time can increase creativity and productivity. And this includes limiting our dependence on our inboxes: Dr. Levitin suggests that you “partition your day into project periods,” which includes checking email at designated times. Otherwise, says Dr. Levitin, email and social networking can “sap attentional resources” in your brain.

In addition, limiting email use at work – and outside of the office – can positively impact your work-life balance. On evenings and weekends, many of us feel tied to our smartphones, ready to respond to urgent – and not so urgent – requests at a moment’s notice. By deciding to check your email only at designated times between 9 and 5, you are leaving necessary time for family, friends and hobbies outside of work.

Cons of Designated Email Time
Of course, many industries and careers do not allow for such careful regulation of email. If the nature of your work functions on last-minute requests and urgent messages, maintaining a strict email schedule could hinder your performance. It may mean that you miss a fleeting opportunity, or it could make you appear unreliable or unresponsive. Especially if you do not communicate your email schedule to colleagues or clients, important contacts may be left wondering about the delay in your responses.

And for some, a full inbox can be even more stressful than managing email throughout the day. The prospect of tackling a barrage of emails, albeit only once or twice in the day, can leave many of us uneasy. In some cases, it is simply more straightforward to deal with an issue as soon as it arises.

The Bottom Line
While there are many pros and cons to setting limited times to check email, the effectiveness of this strategy all depends on your position, your workplace culture, and the expectations of your colleagues and clients. That said, keeping a limit on constant email checking – in the workday and during evenings and on weekends – is necessary for your health and your productivity.

Celebrate! Etiquette for Special Occasions in the Workplace

Office-Party-EtiquetteIt’s time to celebrate! Whether a colleague is about to get married, welcome a new baby, or launch into retirement, there can be plenty of reasons to throw a party in the workplace. Workplace parties can be wonderful occasions to recognize major life milestones and enjoy relaxed time with co-workers. However, celebrations also risk becoming financially taxing and an overwhelming time commitment. Here are a few ways to keep workplace celebrations jovial and under control.

  • Don’t Make Every Day a Birthday.
    Unless you have a very small office or department, you do not need to celebrate every single employee’s birthday. Even a small gathering with a cake for every birthday quickly can become a burden on time and finances. That said, also avoid workplace birthday parties for only a select few individuals in the office. This gesture may suggest that certain employees are more important and worthy of celebration than others.

    On colleagues’ birthdays, a simple verbal “happy birthday” will do. An option to celebrate birthdays within reason is to have seasonal celebrations: one party per quarter for employees whose birthdays occur in spring, summer, winter or fall quarter. And if you are closer friends with a co-worker and want to celebrate him or her individually, it is fine to recognize them with a gift and a celebration – just do so after hours.

  • Develop a Standard Operating Procedure for Milestones.
    When it comes to workplace celebrations, equality is key. Developing a standard practice for celebrating milestones will lend the same level of recognition to all employees and will make the process more efficient. For example, decide that the your office will recognize a special personal occasion by gathering a collection, writing a card, and taking 30 minutes to share a cake. Such a milestone should not provide the opportunity to highlight workplace hierarchies or to prioritize only a few employees
  • Have a Designated Party Organizer, but Offer Help.
    Designating one employee, such as an office manager or administrative assistant, to keep track of important personal dates and to plan get-togethers can make organizing celebrations more efficient. However, make sure this employee voluntarily takes on this role, as it is not within the purview of his or her professional tasks. Also, offer to help out with smaller details such as picking up a cake or booking a room for the party. Though it is useful for one person to be in charge of the overall organization, it does not necessarily mean he or she must handle all the details alone.
  • Gifts Should Be Collective.
    Do not put employees on the spot to give individual gifts. A gift organized and purchased by a department, a team, or even the entire office is preferable to the expectation that employees each should shop for their own gift. Individual gift giving can easily lend itself to comparisons of status and wealth, and can pressure employees to give beyond their means. In some companies, it may also provide a conflict of interest.

    A reliable collective gift for an employee may be a gift card or a gift basket, paired with a thoughtful card signed by other staff members. Again, if you are close to a colleague and want to give a personal gift, that is fine – simply do so outside of the office.

  • Be Inclusive by Providing a Variety of Culinary Choices.
    Due to allergies or dietary restrictions, certain employees may not be able to join the celebration when it comes to the food, especially if the same snacks are ordered for every single occasion.

    Introduce new culinary options or include a variety of choices when planning menus for workplace parties. For example, if your office always orders a cake, next time pair it with fresh fruits and cheeses as an alternative. This gesture may also encourage healthy habits at the office, an additional benefit to hosting an inclusive party.