Talent Management

Celebrating Our Work: Why We Should Celebrate More on Labor Day

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The U.S. is entering its Labor Day weekend celebration with a Monday holiday next week.

My regular readers know I’m Irish, but my team is largely U.S.-based. I learn much from them about their traditions and, more importantly, why they matter.

So, in a recent discussion about Labor Day weekend plans, I learned Labor Day was designed as a celebration of American workers and their efforts.

Celebrating the labor of all

The traditional way to celebrate, as I understand it, is local parades and cookouts with hamburgers and hotdogs all around. It’s also the unofficial end of summer, and with it, the expectations and memories of the vacation season. So returning from Labor Day is, in essence, returning to settle down to work.

I think we should do more to celebrate Labor Day and, more importantly, those who labor.

Without their work, what would those of us in leadership or those in ownership positions have to boast about? Indeed, it’s the labor of all that we should celebrate, not just those top performers we tend to spotlight the most.

Think about it in terms of the traditional Labor Day feast. Would it be the same if there were only hamburgers, but no salads or desserts? No ice cream? Of course not; all elements are necessary.

Sharing our appreciation

The same is true in our workforce. We need all of our people, contributing from their uniqueness, to make our work whole. And it is all our people we should celebrate.

So today, as my U.S. colleagues enter their Labor Day weekend, let’s all – everywhere in the world – pause and celebrate our Labor – our own work and the work of those around us. More importantly, let’s celebrate each other by sharing directly and personally our appreciation for those who make our workplace and our work more enjoyable, more productive and more useful.

Who will you celebrate this Labor Day?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is Vice President, Client Strategy & Consulting Service at Globoforce, a global provider of strategic employee recognition and reward programs. In his role as a thought leader for employee recognition at Globoforce, Derek helps clients set a higher ambition for global, strategic employee recognition, leading consultative workshops and strategy setting meetings with such organizations as Avnet, Celestica, Dow Chemical, Intuit, KPMG, Logica, P&G, Symantec, and Thompson Reuters. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.