While Summer is not officially over, kids are back in school, some stores already have Christmas Displays up (Ridiculous, Right?!!) and many businesses are eyeing their year-end goals. So, while it doesn’t have the flash and sparkle of Christmas, or the Triptophan-heavy pomp of turkey and dressing, many people really love the last little break we call Labor Day. Labor Day is right around the corner and falls on September 2nd.
Show Some Labor Day Love
Labor Day is truly the best day of the year to show your employees that you value their commitment to your business. On this first Monday of September, we celebrate the American worker and the Labor movement, honoring their contributions and their dedication towards the development of business and the well-being of our country. Our labor force is the backbone of our success.
Our employees are essential towards the strength and security of our nation and are more than just a means to an end for our companies. They provide financial growth and stability to our markets, and by extension, our very country depends on their well-being.
A single day dedicated to celebrating how valuable they are is the least we can do. But should you want to go the extra mile and show your employees some extra love this Labor Day, I’ve outlined a few things you can do below. Some I suspect are pure fun, but others may have some practical value to them. It doesn’t matter if you pick one, or all ten things, your employees will appreciate you showing them some love. Here is our version of the Letterman countdown! What other things do you like doing in honor of Labor Day?
10 Best Things You Can Do To Show Your Employees Some Love This Labor Day
#10 Speech Worthy – Toastmaster Time
A Labor Day tradition for many prominent Americans is to give speeches at festivals and picnics all over the country. Make sure you have a speech ready to give your employees on Tuesday when they return to work. Incorporating words of wisdom from other CEOs, or Labor Leaders, or even poetry like “He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor., “– Menander.
Menander may not be the right choice for your words of wisdom, but a well-spoken thank you and appreciative words can’t go wrong.
(I saw a company roast a CEO one time at his bequest- I would not recommend it.)
#9. Be Sweet
Nothing says Happy Labor Day better than laboring over a gift to your employees. A tray full of cookies, or cupcakes will be a hit. Your employees will know you were thinking of them, and that you worked to offer them something sweet.
Have health-conscious employees or special diets? Pick up a fruit basket from the local farmers market instead.
#8 Make An Office Rule Officially Allowing White After Labor Day
Current day fashion trends say wear whatever you color you like, whenever you want. But back in the day, the “No white shoes or clothes after Labor Day” was a hard and fast fashion rule.
The best theory I have read about the reasoning behind this odd rule is pretty widespread and involves the working masses during the industrial revolution days. They lived in dirty cities, worked long hard hours, and as a result, wore dark clothes. The well-to-do took the hot summer months off to travel and visit their vacation homes. If you were so lucky, you wore white as a stark contrast to those who literally couldn’t afford to travel or keep up with white clothing.
Although an office rule allowing white after Labor Day is a silly practice, it also shows that you think your employees are also Upper-Class Citizens, deserving of breaking fashion rules.
#7 Extra Time For Lunch
After a three-day weekend, a Tuesday will feel like a Monday, and many employees will want to catch up with each other. Offer them an early extra thirty minutes for lunch that day. In the long run, that time will not impact your bottom line, but they will appreciate you giving them a perceived value of extra time. Truly, you are thanking them and encouraging strong bonds of camaraderie.
#6 Give Rubber Duckies (Or Gators or Whatever) To Your Employees
Ridiculous? Maybe. But hear me out….in 1887 Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday. Oregon State has a duck as the mascot, and as a frequent traveler to Oregon, any duck present is an entirely appropriate gift to celebrate anything and everything Oregonian. Besides, who doesn’t love rubber ducks? Just make sure you get ones that don’t squeak. This may be a more peaceful offering since sometimes there can be wars about which Florida college is better. College shirt day also is something people like, however when you have different educational levels at a company, you must be careful with this one. Favorite sports team attire can also be fun.
#5 Hit The Lotto
On the gift side, a $5 scratch-off ticket may not be winner, but your employees will think you are. Purchase one for everyone and add a cute note to it. “I’ve hit the Lotto with you” maybe a little cheesy, but it is a nice gesture that could also double as an excellent bonus if someone hits a winner.
After all, profits benefit our education system, right?
#4 Public Appreciation
Fundamentally, we all appreciate being appreciated and valued. When you publicly acknowledge an individual’s achievements, you affirm the choice they made to work for you. It connects them to you and motivates them to achieve more.
By taking your appreciation public, you are essentially announcing to your entire organization that you value the employee. In a large company, it is not practical to name every person on your payroll, however, your managers can list their employees and achievement for each. You can list departments and the impact their role has on your organization.
If your company has a newsletter or a company email, that is the perfect place to dedicate to a public acknowledgment or a social media post with a team picture. Keep in mind, the goal is to celebrate the individual, and then the team.
One of my friends invests in an actual press release about the person. He says this is a great way to help them for future success. When future employers may google a prospective employer, they may find this positive press release. Not for everyone, but I still love this idea.
Get out of the office for a day or a half-day fun team-bonding trip. Besides extending their three-day weekend to a four-day weekend, you are celebrating their efforts and contributions to your business. A day trip depends on your location but consider what your area has to offer. If you are in a metropolitan area, consider a sightseeing tour, or a matinee at a local theater. Close to water? Try renting a boat for the day, or lunch at a local beach. If your office is a little more daring, rock climbing at a local gym, or even laser tag.
The possibilities are endless, and all of them mean thank you.
#2 Comfy Office
You may have been eyeing an empty office corner for a while now, wondering what to do with it. Yes, beanbag chairs are appropriate, and a foosball table just might fit perfectly. Whatever it is, an area that is set just to relax and be with co-workers can go a long way towards well deserved mental breaks for your employees. Perhaps it is as simple as just stocking the break room with items you know everyone enjoys, like a special type of coffee, or a new coffee pot.
Bringing in a little comfort and joy enjoyed by everyone is sure to be appreciated by all.
#1 A Sincere Specific & Heartfelt “Thank You”
I think this is the most important thing anyone can do and shouldn’t be relegated to just Labor Day. An environment of gratitude and mutual respect is the bedrock of any great corporation’s long term success.
Thank them sincerely and express how appreciative you are of them for what they do. The sincerest thanks you can give is specific and targeted to something you can name. For example, your secretary may be great at interpersonal skills and connecting with your clients over the phone. Let her know you value how well she communicates, and that her professionalism over the phone is a tremendous asset to the company and how a client perceives your business. If you are not comfortable with an in-person thank you, write it down! An email, or a thank you card goes a very long way towards connecting with your employees.
Bringing It All Together:
Whatever you choose to do, don’t let this opportunity to create a stronger company culture pass you by. By taking a day to show your sincere gratitude and appreciation, you will create a lasting impression of happiness and great company morale.
Until Next Time,
Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO and Chief Servant
Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings fresh perspective from decades of experiences creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.