Pre-COVID, handshakes, and depending on the nature of the professional relationship, light hugs were the go-to greetings as this provided a professional and personal welcome to clients and/or employees. With the steady increase of clients and employees returning to physical workplaces, one may ask themselves, how do you properly greet someone going into 2023 without making anyone uncomfortable?
For some, the traditional handshake will continue to be their way of welcoming clients, but this may not be suitable for everyone. COVID may not be as active as in the prior years, but there are still others who may continue to follow the CDC recommendations.
What can one do in this case? Communication is key! To ensure your guests are greeted professionally and feel welcomed, communicating your expectations ahead of time can eliminate any embarrassment or uncomfortable interactions. If you do not have the time and resources to communicate with them before the meeting, allow your body language to lead the greeting.
- Create a designated guest location. Placing visible signs with written expectations before you arrive can help ease the tension. “Welcome to xxx, to ensure everyone’s safety, we are currently practicing the no-contact rule”.
- Your body language will set the expectations and can help provide a visible boundary ahead of time.
- Placing your hand over your heart while smiling is another way to provide a warm greeting.
- Make eye contact. When talking to others, having eye contact is the universal sign of “I am listening”.
If you are the one that is uncomfortable with anyone who may want to shake your hand or hug, a simple, “I don’t want to spread my germs”, with a gentle laugh can help ease any tension or potential embarrassment. Try your best to not make the client or employee feel that you are singling them out.
There is no 100% foolproof picture-perfect greeting as not everyone is comfortable or uncomfortable with physical contact. But there are many ways to prepare yourself to make your clients and staff feel welcomed with or without physical interactions.
Could your business use more support in coming up with creative ways to greet clients and staff, or additional Human Resource Services? Contact us at Klein HR Solutions 305-775-5640 or email: [email protected].