Would Santa Send the Boss an E-Card?
Christmas Card Etiquette & Your Boss
2, 2011) Thinking about sending the boss (or a “Boss of
Christmas Past”) a holiday card? If so, which is better, a
state-of-the-art e-card/social media greeting, or a “snail-mailed”
& Taylor says yes, it is a good idea to send your
boss an appropriate holiday greeting. . A recent survey quoted 50% of
holiday card recipients as indicating they were more likely to do
future business with a company (or an individual) that sends holiday
greeting cards. With your co-workers vying with you for the boss's
favor, a holiday card might prove to be a small, but decisive,
Here are some
reasons why your greeting card is a good idea:
1. Connecting with
your boss (or former boss) will help keep you top-of-mind in their
awareness, translating to possible future support or opportunity.
2. Sending your boss
(also former bosses, colleagues, suppliers, etc.) a card demonstrates
a personal touch to accompany your business relationship.
3. Staying in touch
with bosses and colleagues via a holiday card is a subtle yet highly
effective form of networking. (It's also less expensive than taking
them to lunch, and won't violate corporate edicts if sent via
4. Staying in the
favor of your prospective employment references (particularly former
bosses) is critical to your future employment success. The
reference-checking firm of Allison & Taylor notes that
approximately half of all reference checks they conduct reveal
input from the references. Consider that a greeting
card could prove to be a small, but critical, investment in your
5. Developing and
maintaining positive relationships with your boss, co-workers and
former bosses will ultimately be a cornerstone of success in your
career. Besides the use of greeting cards, there are a number of
effective etiquette tips that may be appropriate for those who may
ultimately become your professional references (click
here for more tips).
While sending out
holiday cards is almost certainly a good idea, even this generous
gesture can backfire if the proper
protocols aren't observed. Here are some
additional guidelines to ensure your card is well received:
1. Choose a
high-quality holiday card that allows no possibility of offending its
recipient. Remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas - be
mindful of religious and cultural nuances, particularly with your
2. Choose a design
that is appropriate for your business associates.
3. Include one of
your business cards inside the greeting card. This small insertion
ensures that your recipients have your most current contact
information and will reinforce your name with the card's recipient.
4. Be sure that your
inscriptions on the outside of the card are both legible and
attractive. Consider using a form of calligraphy to make your
recipient's name and address visibly pleasing. Also, be sure to
include your return address on the mailing envelope.
5. Sign each card
personally. It only takes a moment to sign your name and write a
short greeting, and your business associates will notice and
appreciate this more personal gesture.
6. Check the
spelling of your contacts and their corporate name. Any good points
you'll score with a holiday card will be lost if you misspell your
contact's name or corporate information.
7. Keep your contact
list accurate and up-to-date. Make sure you're not sending a card
to someone who has left the department or the company.
8. Don't be late.
In life and in business, timing is everything. Remember that many
companies close during the holidays and people take vacation to be
with family, so send your cards early. Also note the possibility that
a recipient of your card may want (out of consideration or guilt) to
respond with a card back to you prior to the holidays. Aim to have
all your corporate holiday cards in the mail no later than December
15 if you're sending them within the U.S., or earlier if you're
sending them via international mail.
Note that these
guidelines address a traditional card sent via the Postal Service. In
our high-tech age, is an e-card or social media greeting just as
The answer is
“probably not”, for a variety of reasons. Many senior managers
are older and may reflect an “old school” mentality. A greeting
card sent via electronic means may be regarded by them as
inappropriate, perhaps even cavalier. Such greetings also tend to
lack the “personal touch” of a card mailed individually to the
boss's door; e-cards and social media holiday greetings are often
sent en masse, or (in the case of social media greetings) can be done
as spur-of-the-moment responses to a comment seen on Facebook or some
possible that executives in high-tech industries might appreciate the
use of cyberspace for holiday greetings, it's usually best to mind
the adage “When in doubt, better to avoid.” In this case, you
aren't likely to go wrong with thoughtful, traditional holiday
greeting cards that help make a good impression on your business
contacts. Cultivating good relationships this holiday season will
ensure your professional success tomorrow.
About Allison &
& Taylor and its principals have been in the
business of checking references for corporations and individuals
since 1984. Allison & Taylor is headquartered in Rochester, Mich.
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