Business Greeting Don’ts

Now you've found a job at a company with a culture and a week before you start, the company's door opens to a large number of employees waiting to welcome you into a new work environment. The employees extend their hands and as you shake them, in the corner of your eye you see a lady you both went to the university together moving towards you smiling. You're excited! A quick decision is required. Do you just shake her hand? Do you kiss her? Do you hug her?


You decide to damn the confusion and you end up throwing yourself into her arms, kissing her on the cheeks and spending the rest of the day wondering if you have done the right thing and what impact your form of greeting has on her. Sound familiar?


Greeting properly in the workplace is a vital part of courtesy and good business manners.


The first point about business greetings is to know how it should be done. It's important to say "hello," “good morning,” “good afternoon,” “bye,” and “enjoy the rest of the day,” to everyone even when you don't work closely with them. 


Every greeting is an opportunity to demonstrate respect for others and to create a favourable impression of yourself in the workplace.


When you greet someone in the workplace, you should avoid the following:


Don’t pat a colleague on the butt. This is wrong unless you have an intimate relationship with the person. If you're in a romantic relationship with a colleague, be professional about it. Keep the details of your love life and interests out of the workplace and maintain decorum.


Don’t pat someone on the backside in the work environment unless you want to tell them that, they have done well and deserve to be praised for a project or a task well executed. This form of greeting can be considered disrespectful especially if you don’t have a close working relationship with the person.


Don’t use social hugs as grounds for sexual harassment.


Don’t put your arm around someone.


Don’t air kiss. Is a poor form of greeting in the business environment.


Don’t hand-kiss in the working environment. Even though this greeting gesture indicates courtesy, politeness, respect admiration or even devotion by one person toward another, this is not the right setting to use it.


Don’t social kiss. Longstanding or not, don't assume you have a good working relationship with a colleague and kiss them. If you know from experience that a colleague or business contact would welcome a kiss on the cheek then kiss them on the cheek without the expression of sexual attentiveness. If you are unsure don’t, keep the greetings professional.


When greeting men and women in the working environment, do so without violating their dignity or creating an intimidating, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.


Enrol for DRS Etiquette & Image Consulting online or one-on-one Business Etiquette course TODAY and learn more about don’ts and do’s of business greetings, proper greetings and introductions and get the most out of it. For course details, contact





Unknown said...

This is a nice read, keep the good work.

DRS Etiquette & Image Consulting said...

Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated.