Some holidays can feel manufactured, only for the benefit of some industry or individual company. When you have an employee incentive program however, holidays can be a great way to have employees come together and feel a sense of community and recognition all at once. Holidays can help to foster employee engagement and make everyone feel more committed to your organization. If your rewards program is feeling stale, or you are just on the lookout for a new way to recognize employees this quarter, don’t forget to check out these upcoming holidays.
This week is when many organizations across the US will be giving volunteer recognition awards. Volunteer week ideas can vary greatly depending on the amount of budget you have available to spend on your volunteers. Be sure to check out my previous blog post for three unique volunteer recognition award ideas sure to fit into any budget.
National Library Week might have limited uses in your award program, unless you are a library of course! I was thinking this could be used as a way to encourage employees to read books in their field or maybe offer up a book club meeting in the office. You could also ask people to recommend their favorite business books and award those who provide feedback. All of these activities can help you engage with workers and help them improve in their areas of expertise.
As the weather is getting warmer out (finally!), I am hoping that more employees will want to participate in ride your bike to work day. If you already have a wellness program, rewarding bicyclists should be an easy task. However, don’t forget to communicate that employees will be eligible to earn additional points for participating in the event. You can add in some friendly competition by offering bonus points to departments with more than 50% participation or to the department with the most participation. This holiday is a great way to make employees aware that biking to work is an option and hopefully get them in the habit in the future.
I’d like to think of this holiday as a second employee appreciation day (the first one is in early March every year). Employee appreciation needs to take place more than once a year, making it more consistent has been shown to engage employees and boost loyalty. I posted three different employee appreciation ideas back in February, and if you missed this post, be sure to check it out and get some ideas for National High Five day on April 17.
Administrative Professionals’ Day is probably one of the most recognizable holidays on this list. It has been around since 1952 and is celebrated in many countries across the globe. Support staff are essential to daily functions and last week I posted my top ten ideas for employee recognition during administrative professionals’ week to help you plan a successful celebration.
Earth Day is the same day every year and I’ve included it on this list mainly for organizations that have employee incentive programs. I think there are many opportunities to incorporate Earth Day activities into an existing incentive program and reward points to those participating. Earthday.org/takeaction has numerous ideas to help your organization and its employees plan different Earth Day activities. There are simple tasks, such as having everyone unplug their electronic devices when leaving for the day and making sure the break room is stocked with local produce, which every organization can get behind. Employees can consider riding their bicycles to work or forming car pools to lower their carbon footprint.
Teacher Appreciation Week tends to fall on the last week of school for colleges and universities across the US. I have been talking with several educational institutions in the past few weeks that are planning on giving out service awards, retirement awards and appreciation awards in coordination with Teacher Appreciation Week. Please see my blog post containing 3 ideas to recognize, appreciate and thank teachers during this special event.
National Hospital Week is a popular time for healthcare institutions across the US to kick off employee recognition programs. For those that have programs in place, it is a great time to give employees extra recognition and rewards. From on the spot recognition to custom employee appreciation gifts for each worker, there are a lot of ways to celebrate this week and increase employee engagement.
National Safety Month takes place annually in June and the National Safety Council (NSC) provides a lot of high quality resources to help you plan different safety program activities. Last year, I highlighted 5 different employee safety program activities in my blog post on National Safety Month. This year, the NSC has even more free content for you to use in your safety talks, quizzes and newsletters. I cannot stress enough what a great resource the NSC is for safety coordinators and managers who don’t have a lot of time but need to plan a successful safety initiative in June. Along with an employee safety incentive program, it can be very simple to reward employees for demonstrating safe behavior and contributing to a safe workplace.
There is still plenty of time to have a program planned out in time for many of these events. With a little planning, you can probably have a brand new program ready to go in as little as a couple of weeks. If you already have an existing program, then adding in additional goals and points should be very simple, and yet, leave a lasting on your employees, volunteers and managers!