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Etiquette and Advice from the Emily Post Institute

Business Congratulations Etiquette

According to Peggy Post and Peter Post, co-authors of The Etiquette Advantage in Business, the following suggestions will help you celebrate a co-worker’s promotion, accomplishment or happy life event.
  • It is a very gracious and respectful act to acknowledge a colleague’s success. A hand-written note or a card that you picked out yourself are simple ways to do this. Keep a box of note cards in your desk drawer so you can write a note before you forget.
  • For the promotion of a close colleague, consider giving a business-appropriate gift: either a temporary gift such as flowers or food, or a lasting gift that may remain on their desk or wall for months or years to come.
  • Take your office mate out to lunch. When extending the invitation, let him or her know that the celebration is your treat.
  • If there is an office party at work or at a restaurant or bar, have fun but avoid the following pitfalls: drinking too much, dressing inappropriately, talking too much about your personal life or talking negatively about other co-workers.
  • If you have received a wedding invitation from a co-worker, send a gift even if you don’t attend. If you weren’t invited (don’t fret: many people like to keep home and work separate), you may still choose to send a gift, singly or as a team or department, but know that it is not expected.

About the
Emily Post Institute
The Emily Post Institute, created by Emily in 1946 and run today by third generation family members, serves as a "civility barometer" for American society and continues Emily's work. That work has grown to address the societal concerns of the 21st century including business etiquette, raising polite children and civility in America.
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