Honoring Our Work: Why We Should Celebrate More on Labor Day

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Editor’s Note: With Labor Day in the U.S. coming on Monday, we thought it made sense to republish this Classic TLNT post from Derek Irvine, an Irishman, who seems to have a great appreciation for the meaning of this American holiday.

The U.S. is entering its Labor Day weekend celebration with a Monday holiday next week.

My regular readers know I’m Irish, but my team is largely U.S.-based. I learn much from them about their traditions and, more importantly, why they matter.

So, in a recent discussion about Labor Day weekend plans, I learned Labor Day was designed as a celebration of American workers and their efforts.

The traditional way to celebrate, as I understand it, is local parades and cookouts with hamburgers and hotdogs all around. It’s also the unofficial end of summer, and with it, the expectations and memories of the vacation season. So returning from Labor Day is, in essence, returning to settle down to work.

I think we should do more to celebrate Labor Day and, more importantly, those who labor.

Without their work, what would those of us in leadership or those in ownership positions have to boast about? Indeed, it’s the labor of all that we should celebrate, not just those top performers we tend to spotlight the most.

Think about it in terms of the traditional Labor Day feast. Would it be the same if there were only hamburgers, but no salads or desserts? No ice cream? Of course not; all elements are necessary.

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Sharing our appreciation

The same is true in our workforce. We need all of our people, contributing from their uniqueness, to make our work whole. And it is all our people we should celebrate.

So today, as my U.S. colleagues enter their Labor Day weekend, let’s all – everywhere in the world – pause and celebrate our Labor – our own work and the work of those around us. More importantly, let’s celebrate each other by sharing directly and personally our appreciation for those who make our workplace and our work more enjoyable, more productive and more useful.

Who will you celebrate this Labor Day?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at irvine@globoforce.com.


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