Memorial Day began as a way to honor Union soldiers who gave their lives in the Civil War and still honors fallen soldiers with parades and ceremonies. Over time, it’s also become a day to enjoy spending time with family and friends. But if your business stays open on this holiday, earn your employees’ gratitude by celebrating Memorial Day at work.
No surprise, your employees may be a little down about working while most people have the day off to spend with family. Even so, you can still make Memorial Day special for them and fun for the workplace.
Bring Your Team Together
The U.S. Navy —not surprisingly—knows how to do it right. Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast, Jacksonville, Fla., starts each day with morning “Reveille,” the raising of the flag and playing of the National Anthem, as the article “NAVFAC Employees Celebrate Memorial Day,” explains.
The organization’s Employee Benefits Association (EBT) distributes small American flags and asks employees to wear red, white, and blue on Memorial Day. After Reveille, the EBT serves breakfast, allowing staff time to socialize and bond as a team.
“Let’s all start our day with the most important meal of the day with our friends and coworkers,” said Joe Kersey, EBA’s president. “This is just one of the many wellness events that is taking place for our employees.”
5 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day at Work
You too could serve a patriotic breakfast to employees on Memorial Day, or try one or more of these five activities to show your gratitude for employees working your holiday hours.
- Have management cover the business while employees enjoy a break to watch the local Memorial Day parade.
- Serve a picnic lunch outside and allow extra time for socializing and relaxation.
- Give an employee ‘thank you’ gift that can be shared with families, such as American flags, boxes of red, white and blue star cookies or a gThankYou! Ice Cream Gift Certificate.
- Gather employees, serve snacks, and share information about the holiday’s history, such as the New York Times’ Memorial Day page. Ask staff to share what Memorial Day means to them.
- When the day’s business is done, throw a party for employees and their families, complete with patriotic themed decorations and recipes. Need menu ideas, check out Punchbowl.com’s Memorial Day party recipes. Be sure to check out Pinterest for Memorial Day Party inspiration too!
Include Remote Workers in Memorial Day Celebrations
Be sure to remember to acknowledge and include any workers that work remotely on Memorial Day for the benefit of your organization. If you throw a themed party for home office workers, consider Skyping virtual workers so they can engage with co-workers too. Send remote workers a thoughtful Gift Certificate for Pie or for Ice Cream with a thank you note so they feel valued and appreciated too.
It’s Important to Show You Care
Acknowledging that it can be challenging to work on a holiday shows employees that you care. And as Inc.com observes in Paul Spiegelman’s, “Why a Caring Workplace Matters as Much as Your Annual Budget”:
“Caring creates trust. Trust creates loyalty. Loyalty lowers costs, and helps maintain a protectable profit margin.”
Besides, it’s the right thing to do.
For more ideas on how to celebrate employees and build a culture of appreciation, download our free eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving”.
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