Seize the opportunity to engage employees this 4th of July weekend with a workplace celebration!
Federal employees may get Independence Day off, but most industries aren’t able to shut down completely. If your company has employees working on the holiday, a workplace celebration is a great chance for engagement, community-building and fun.
The 4th of July tempts employees to disengage. Not only does it come at the height of summer, there’s an “overpowering appeal of federally sanctioned … holiday shenanigans,” according to the The Guardian article, “Easing Into Fourth of July…Employees Do It Nice and Early.”
“People are hot. It’s a hot summer … People want to get out, they want to enjoy life,” says The Guardian’s Harry Enten. “So what you’ll see is a lot of people sort of slacking off, maybe doing things a little slower.”
Don’t let your employees on the clock in the coming days disengage! Surprise them with a theme party, treats, small gifts or even a field trip into the community for fireworks or volunteering. They’ll appreciate the change of pace — and be inspired to get back to work with fresh enthusiasm.
Read on for 4th of July workplace celebration ideas and examples of what companies around the country do to engage employees for the biggest American summer holiday.
What Every Workplace Celebration Needs
A workplace celebration isn’t just a chance to blow off steam and eat cake with coworkers. It’s integral to building a healthy workplace culture. It builds a sense of community, fuels innovation, strengthens teamwork and motivates excellent performance.
But all those benefits won’t happen if your celebration is missing one key element: employee gratitude. The most important aspect of planning your workplace celebration, for the 4th of July or anytime, is figuring out how and when to thank employees.
Sharing gratitude with employees doesn’t have to be complicated! For employees working over the July 4th holiday, a few sincere words of appreciation from a manager or C-suite leader will make a great impression. Acknowledge the inconvenience of working on a holiday and thank employees for their dedication. Emphasize how grateful the company is for their important work keeping business up-and-running over the holiday.
Whatever else your 4th of July workplace celebration offers employees — gifts, treats or activities — your gratitude is essential!
Ideas for 4th of July Workplace Fun
Easy celebration tips for the workplace:
- Bring in treats in red, white and blue colors. Choose a store-bought cookie or cake with a nice message of appreciation written in frosting, or try your hand at homemade with this American flag shortcake recipe with strawberries and blueberries.
- Encourage a patriotic dress code. Invite employees to wear red, white and blue outfits to celebrate on the job.
- Decorate the offices or break room in balloons, streamers and mini flags.
- Play patriotic music. Spotify has a playlist with crowd-pleasers like “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen, “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus, “Living in America” by James Brown, “All-American Girl” by Carrie Underwood, “American Boy” by Estelle, and many more.
- Take the team to your town’s 4th of July parade or fireworks display. If organizers are looking for volunteers to help with the event, your team could wear company T-shirts and sign up to volunteer an hour or two.
Workplace Celebration Models — What Other Companies Do July 4th
Here are four companies that have found meaningful ways to engage employees working during the 4th of July weekend:
1. Flex-time at Arc Aspicio
At the Virgina-based consulting firm Arc Aspicio, employees often work through the holiday to meet deadlines. However, CEO Lynn Ann Casey encourages her employees to work from home on the holiday and check in via email from wherever they are. “We do whatever we can to protect that time for people,” she tells the Washington Times.
2. Lending a hand at Rogers Group, Inc.
Every year, employees at the Rogers Group, Inc. corporate offices in Nashville help out at a company-sponsored Independence Day celebration at a nearby retirement home, helping serve a classic meal of barbecued pork and chicken, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and watermelon:
Corporate employees lent a hand to serve lunch to the 200 residents and outpatients of the retirement home. There weren’t any fireworks, but there were lots of high notes as volunteers led the residents in favorite tunes like “America the Beautiful,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” and a finale of “God Bless America!”
3. A game and fireworks at Native Rank, Inc.
Native Rank, a digital marketing company in Denver, Colorado, is partnering this year to invite employees and their families to a Denver Outlaws game with fireworks. Company reps tell ABC 25 News that “this breathtaking fireworks display paired with the fast-paced action and excitement of Denver’s premier professional lacrosse team” is “the perfect opportunity to celebrate the dedication and hard work” of employees.
4. A hoagie to share at Wawa, Inc.
The East Coast convenience-store chain Wawa is celebrating 4th of July with a 6-ton hoagie to share with the community. A few hundred Wawa employees recently carried on the annual tradition by building the massive hoagie (actually 23,000 Italian shorties) with 900-plus pounds each of ham and salami, 1,600 pounds of provolone, 2,300 pounds of tomatoes! The sandwiches are served to the public on the lawn of the Philadelphia’s Independence Visitor Center, with 1,000 more sandwiches delivered to local veteran centers.
However you choose to celebrate in the workplace, we wish you and your colleagues a very happy, safe and inspiring Independence Day!
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