This week offers two of the best holidays of the year for building workplace camaraderie.
This week, celebrate Earth Day (Wednesday, April 22) and National Arbor Day (Friday, April 24). Your local Arbor Day date may differ based on the best local tree-planting times. Check the Arbor Day Foundation’s guide to regional Arbor Days dates across the U.S.
Earth Day and Arbor Day are unique holidays. They focus on celebrating by working together for a better environment and healthier planet.
These are the holidays when we roll up our sleeves and get to work: planting trees, cleaning up litter, helping with a meadow restoration, recycling electronic waste, getting educated and educating others, and other activities that make the natural world around us more enjoyable.
Why Earth Day and Arbor Day Build WORKPLACE Camaraderie
Volunteering together on non-work projects — such as an Arbor Day tree-planting — is a fantastic way to get employees out of their day-to-day routine and quickly build workplace camaraderie. Volunteer work is engaging both individually and communally and builds goodwill among employees.
On an environmental volunteer project, everyone is equal. Without the regular hierarchy and skill expectations of the workplace, employees can work together side-by-side and be comfortable getting to know each other as people rather than job titles.
For example, an office manager and data-entry clerk are equally as likely to know how to use gardening tools. Giving them the opportunity to learn together and assist each other builds mutual respect, appreciation and a sense of humor — all skills that easily translate in and benefit a standard work environment.
Because Earth Day and Arbor Day are so widely celebrated in schools, community centers and parks organizations, finding a volunteering opportunity — even last-minute — is easy.
The Arbor Day Foundation resources page offers ideas, connections and materials to help you plan an event or volunteer outing.
The Earth Day Network similarly offers tons of resources on local events, ways to get involved and much more.
In most cases, the groundwork is already done for you. It’s nothing like a workplace celebration that your HR department prepares weeks or months in advance. You and your organization just need to show up!
BUILDING CAMARADERIE INDOORS
Even if an out-of-workplace volunteer trip doesn’t work this year for your company, there are other engaging and fun ways to celebrate this week.
One of the key components of both Earth and Arbor Day is appreciation. We practice appreciation for nature, for trees, for our local and regional parks, and for the planet’s health as a whole.
You and your team could celebrate simply by taking a meeting outdoors in the sun, going on a short hike in a nearby park over lunch, or enjoying fresh-cut flowers from each other’s gardens in the office.
However you celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day, remember the underlying message of both holidays — “We’re in this together” — and how it applies to your team, your workplace culture and your organization’s relationship with the community at large.
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of engagement, respect and appreciation, be sure to download our free e-book, “The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should be Reading”.
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