In the US, Monday is Labor Day, which is dedicated to celebrating the social and economic achievements of American workers and their contributions to our country’s welfare and prosperity.
It was created by the American labor movement in the late 19th century when many workers worked 12 hour days, seven days a week, often in unsafe conditions. With workers growing frustrated with their working conditions, low pay, and lack of breaks, labor unions became increasingly prominent in the U.S.
The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square. By celebrating their “workingmen’s holiday” they galvanized labor unions across the U.S. After widespread protests by labor unions, Congress officially acknowledged Labor Day as a national holiday in 1894.
Today, Labor Day usually means a day off to relax, have a barbecue, or go to a parade. But it’s also fitting to celebrate in the office. Labor Day is an opportunity for reflection on the workplace and the company’s culture. It’s also a great time to recognize your employees for their dedication.
Here are three ideas for celebrating Labor Day.
Say “Thank You!” to employees
Appreciation from higher-ups is always a great way to boost morale. Taking the time to write a personalized note of gratitude to each of your employees can go a long way. It shows employees that their efforts don’t go unnoticed and that their contributions to the company and their teams are valued.
Talk to employees
There is always room for improvement in every workplace. Taking the time to listen to your employees’ needs is a great place to start. You can either host an open forum to solicit feedback or allow your employees to submit anonymous comments.
Soliciting feedback on your company’s culture can help foster a more open environment where communication flows freely. When the needs of your employees are heard and efforts to address them are made, everyone benefits from a more positive and productive workplace.
Everyone benefits from a work break to laugh and socialize. Bring the office together for an informal celebration, such as an ice cream social or a potluck lunch. It can be an effective way to relieve stress, build team relationships, and get to know your employees. The key is to give employees a rewarding experience that will make them feel appreciated.
A version of this article was originally published on wforce.org.