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Spotlight on Success: Elevating Employee Recognition in 2024

By January 10, 2024February 22nd, 2024No Comments

Employees – do you ever feel like your hard work and contributions deserve more than just a passing pat on the back or a “free coffee” coupon at Christmas?

Of course you do!

Employers – do you want to ensure that your most talented and valuable employees remain on your payroll?

Of course you do!

Well, buckle up because we’re about to dive into the world of employee recognition and some of the 2024 Employee Recognition Calendar for you to honor that could tip the scales in your favor.

We’re looking at you, Business Owners, HR Professionals, and all levels of Leadership!

For the wild ride that’s about to be 2024, we’re shining a light on success and turning up the volume on the cheers for your employees’ daily victories. Get ready to explore how Employee Recognition Days are changing the game and making work feel less like a thankless grind and more like a celebration of people.

And trust us… it’s not your typical HR spiel.

From January to December, these are the employee recognition dates in 2024 you won’t want to overlook, so open your calendar and get ready to set some reminders.

Full Months To Memorialize:

  • FEBRUARY – Black History Month

February is dedicated to commemorating the invaluable contributions and influence of African Americans on American culture. This is a great time to spotlight the innovators, explorers, educators, inventors, and others who refused to allow the color of their skin to divert their dreams, ultimately paving the hardest roads for their future descendants.

  • JUNE – Pride Month

According to a Gallup poll, 7.2% of Americans identify as non-heterosexual and Pride Month (aka June) is a time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community members in your work life. Pride Month was officially recognized by the US government as “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” in 1999 but, as we’ve continued to chip away at some of the stigmas and stereotypes, has since been expanded to include the entire LGBTQIA+ collective. June is a great time to flex your DEI muscles a little extra and nurture an inclusive work culture.

  • OCTOBER – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed within their lifetime and in 2023 alone, it’s estimated that over 300,000 people (over 99% women) will be diagnosed with some form of invasive breast cancer in the US. Chances are, everyone knows someone affected by this malicious disease (including your colleagues, their spouses, children, siblings, parents, etc.), so October is devoted to spreading awareness, encouraging life-saving health screenings, supporting those currently battling, and remembering those who fought the good fight but couldn’t be with us today.

2024 Employee Appreciation Dates:

  • 3/1 – Employee Appreciation Day

 Exactly as the name suggests. The first Friday in March each year is a day to show each of your employees just how much you appreciate their hard work and loyalty. Take the team out for lunch then to an escape room for the afternoon. Or give them an extra personal day to use whenever they please and a self-care bundle as a cherry on top.

  • 4/24 – Administrative Professional Day

Every day, Admin Professionals are on the office front lines – handling angry clients (and sometimes coworkers), finding tech solutions to the inevitable hiccups just before a big presentation – endlessly en route to find, do, or solve something for someone. The date may move a bit but the Wednesday of the last full week of April is their day to feel extra special and to be fully acknowledged as the intricate piece of the puzzle that they truly are.

  • 7/25 – National Intern Day

Interns bring a new energy and perspective to the team, along with innovation and fresh ideas that could potentially change the dynamic of your business. The last Thursday in July each year is reserved for these future leaders because seriously – what would we do without interns? Show them how much you appreciate their contributions and the time they spend with your organization and remember – the intern you pester today could be leading your department in a few short years.

  • 10/16 – Boss’s Day

As though having you as an employee isn’t rewarding enough, Boss’s Day offers a once-a-year opportunity to let your leaders know just how much you appreciate them. Great leaders are born, not made, so if you’re fortunate enough to have one, tell them. They’re people too! They like to know the people who work for them actually like working for them (and why)!

2024 People Appreciation Dates:

  • 3/8 – International Women’s Day

Women like Madame C.J. Walker have been flipping tables for centuries, staking claims in the business world and forging paths for women’s rights and equality when these topics were as taboo as they come. “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” March 8th is designated to the women who have been fighting (and continue to fight) for all things equal.

  • 6/4 – National Cancer Survivors’ Day

The first Sunday in June each year is extra special for those of us who’ve been personally affected by cancer. This is the day we celebrate all the brave fighters in our lives who’ve made it through the traumas and treatments to be with us today. Chances are, you have some employees or colleagues who have come through the fire and deserve to be royally recognized.

  • 6/19 – Juneteenth

While the history of the actual events remains a bit murky, Juneteenth commemorates the day the last slaves in the United States were declared free in 1865. Over 150 years later, it was finally declared an official holiday in 2021 and is now nationally recognized and celebrated. If your business isn’t already closed on June 19th, you may want to consider adjusting your holiday schedule and giving Juneteenth the honor it so deeply deserves.

  • 8/26 – Women’s Equality Day

August 26th commemorates the hard-fought battle for women’s rights and celebrates the achievements made towards gender equality. This day marks the historic moment in 1920 when women were granted the right to vote in the United States. Recognizing Women’s Equality Day in the workplace is not just a nod to the past but a commitment to a future where all employees – regardless of gender – have equal opportunities. Celebrating Women’s Equality Day at work is a powerful declaration that equality is not a privilege but a fundamental right, paving the way for a workplace where every individual can thrive and contribute their best, regardless of gender.

  • 9/15 – 10/15 – National Hispanic Heritage Month

This is a time to honor and recognize the rich cultural contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the fabric of US culture. This month-long celebration is a valuable opportunity for your company to embrace diversity, foster inclusivity, and acknowledge the integral role of the Hispanic community in shaping our nation. Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month at work is more than a cultural observance; it’s a commitment to creating an environment that values and respects the diverse backgrounds of all your employees

  • 10/10 – World Mental Health Day

Observing World Mental Health Day at work is a call to action, urging organizations to recognize and address the mental health needs of their employees. It’s also an opportunity to break down stigmas surrounding mental health, encouraging open conversations and understanding. Take a proactive step towards creating a positive work environment that promotes productivity and employee satisfaction by properly acknowledging this day. When organizations prioritize mental health, they contribute to a culture of compassion and empathy, ultimately fostering stronger, more resilient, and happier teams.

  • End-of-Year Holidays

Whether your employees celebrate 7 Days of Kwanzaa, 8 nights of Hanukkah, or 12 Days of Christmas, the end-of-year holidays are a magical time all around. Celebrating these holidays also honors the diverse backgrounds and traditions of your employees. It allows for the celebration of various cultural festivities, promoting inclusivity and respect for different customs. Whether through holiday parties, gift exchanges, or themed events, these celebrations can be a thoughtful way to express gratitude for your employees’ hard work throughout the year.

**Pro Tip: Before you even consider dishing out standardized tokens of appreciation for the dates above (or any other holidays, milestones, or special occasions for that matter), do yourself a favor and find out your employees’ RecognitionDNA. This super simple assessment will tell you exactly how each of your employees feels most appreciated so you can personalize any gifts or recognition to their preferences for an even bigger impact.

And that’s a wrap, folks!

Although we’ve only scratched the surface of why your employees are so valuable and when you should let them know, shouting your appreciation of them from the rooftop (or at least throughout the office) all year long is still so important.

So, let’s turn the daily grind into the daily groove. Take this whole vibe back to your office and let’s make every day Employee Recognition Day, not just a scheduled calendar event.

Here’s to nurturing a workplace culture where high-fives, fist bumps, and a meaningful “great job” are as common as coffee breaks. Cheers to you in 2024!

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