Happy International Day of Awesomeness! Yes, this is a real (unofficial) holiday — and it’s awesome to celebrate in the workplace.
A couple of coworkers started International Day of Awesomeness back in 2007. It was as easy as registering the domain “dayofawesomeness.com” and putting the idea out into the world.
Held every year on March 10, International Day of Awesomeness has a simple premise: be awesome and encourage others to be awesome.
Why? “Because everyone needs an excuse to be awesome.” Can’t argue with that!
How we celebrate International Day of Awesomeness is open to creativity. The holiday’s founders suggest “feats of awesomeness.”
Be inspired to celebrate the day with your team. And don’t forget to share your company’s International Day of Awesomeness activities on social media with the hashtags #idoa or #dayofawesomeness.
8 Ways to Celebrate International Day of Awesomeness At Work
Building an awesome workplace culture is an investment. It takes time, resources and full support from company leadership.
Of course, we all want a better culture today. A recent headline from the satirical newspaper The Onion takes a humorous spin on this unrealistic expectation: “Boss Wants Friendly, Relaxed Company Culture In Place By Friday.”
By Friday would be great, of course — but the reality is, you and your team have to be in it for the long haul.
However, there are specific and effective things you can do right now that really will make your company culture just a bit more awesome. Best part is, you’ll see results right away.
So start today, in honor of International Day of Awesomeness! Here are eight ideas of what your HR team and your employees can do together to celebrate:
1. Strike Up a Conversation
Seek out the people in your workplace you normally never talk to and strike up a conversation, from the company cafeteria worker who ladles your soup to the CFO who hides in his office. It could be about the weather, sports, favorite gym, their kids, weekend plans, anything. Be curious, respectful and make a connection. It will brighten their day — and yours!
This really is the simplest, fastest way to spread happiness. People react to you differently when you smile, according to an Elite Daily writer who experimented with walking around with a smile on her face:
“As I went about my daily routine, I noticed that more people were smiling back at me. People in general seemed more friendly. I went mostly everywhere with a smile. … I noticed more strangers would start conversations with me or ask for directions more often. I realized that I had built an unspoken rapport with strangers …”
You’ll slowly be building workplace happiness, one smile at a time. According to the Forbes article “Start Smiling: It Pays to Be Happy at Work,” happiness at work is good for organizations and individuals alike because it’s “closely correlated with greater performance and productivity as well as greater energy, better reviews, faster promotion, higher income, better health and increased happiness with life.”
3. Share a Thank You Gift
Be creative with your gratitude! Buy packs of LifeSavers and add fun Thank You notes. Bring in homemade treats for your team or hand out $5 Gift Certificates for popular treats like candy, pie or ice cream. Tell your staff you are lucky to have them on your team. It benefits recipients and givers alike: employees will appreciate the thoughtful gift, and you and your management team will feel good handing them out!
4. Ask a Question
Sometimes all it takes to be awesome is to be a good listener. Listening is transformative in the workplace, where too often we get caught up in our own responsibilities and become oblivious to the needs of others. So ask a question — like “How’s the new scheduling program working for you?” or “What would make it easier for you to do your job?” — and just listen, without jumping in to offer your take right away.
5. Change the Scenery
Is meeting in the same old conference room getting stale? Change the scenery! Take your meeting outdoors or suggest meeting over lunch instead. Fresh air, good food and camaraderie are a quick boost to morale.
6. Say, “What if …?”
Workplace awesomeness often starts with two words: “What if …?” — as in, “What if we do it differently this time?”
Take the lead and empower employees to try new ways of doing their work. Don’t be afraid to let them have a little fun! Workplace fun has serious benefits.
A little shake-up to routine can be good once in a while. Routines are the essential building blocks of culture, but are your workplace routines serving your employees and company well? Maybe it’s time to spark positive change and encourage employee creativity by asking, “What if …?”
7. Thank Someone
Gratitude is the golden standard for building a positive and productive workplace, so show your appreciation for employee excellence. For inspiration, check out our recent blog post on “7 Tips for Giving No-Fail Workplace Compliments.”
8. Recognize Awesomeness!
Publicly recognize the kind of above-and-beyond effort that makes your employees and community awesome. Seek it out! Did employees show uncommon empathy in helping a customer? Is your team involved in an awesome volunteer program? Is your company partnered with an organization in the community that’s doing great work?
Whatever it is, announce these displays of awesomeness on social media or at the top of your staff meeting. Give participants the recognition they deserve!
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