Are you looking for more opportunities to recognize your people? The answer might be in your calendar.
Throughout the year, there are a number of dates celebrating people in specific professions, different hobbies and interests, and even foods. These days can all be opportunities to do something special for your employees and show them just how much you appreciate them.
We’ve gone through our calendar and picked out 19 days that you can turn into employee recognition days in 2024!
Keeping recognition consistent is one of the pillars of an impactful employee recognition program. Use the dates below to reinforce a regular cadence of recognition at your company.
1. Thank Your Mentor Day – January 21
At some time or another, we’ve all benefited from the guidance and support of other people. Whether it’s a manager who invested in our growth, a teacher who taught us new skills, or just a coworker who took a personal interest in helping us to get better, mentors can make all the difference to our careers and our lives.
Thank Your Mentor Day is a chance for all of your employees to show appreciation for the time and effort put in by the people they have learnt from. As an HR professional, you can encourage employees to take this day to recognize any managers or senior staff they consider a mentor and let them know just how much their support has meant.
2. National Compliment Day – January 24
If you’re looking to kick off the year with an employee recognition day, National Compliment Day falls just a few weeks into January. It’s a day to celebrate the power of a simple compliment, and how just a few words of praise can brighten someone’s day, help build their confidence, or turn things around when they’re having a tough time.
Looking for an event or challenge to mark the occasion? Try using your recognition program to run ‘What I Like About You’, one of our recognition recipes from this blog. The concept is simple: every employee is assigned a random teammate in a Secret Santa-style format, and encouraged to send them a Shoutout sharing why they enjoy working with them.
3. National Fun at Work Day – January 26
Celebrated on the last Friday of January each year, National Fun at Work Day was created as a way for teams to chase away the post-holiday blues by making time for some fun, games, and relaxation in the office.
It’s an ideal opportunity for HR leaders to think up some fun events for their employees, and help improve morale at a time where it might be flagging a bit.
4. National Pizza Day – February 9
Yes, there really is a National Pizza Day. Falling every February 9, this day is a chance to celebrate everyone’s favourite takeout option, but you can also make it an impromptu employee appreciation date.
You can get in on the act by ordering pizza for the office, or send gift cards to your employees if they are working remotely so they can order their own. It’s a small but fun way to treat your employees, and could be a pleasant surprise for them on a dreary winter Friday.
5. Random Act of Kindness Day – February 17
Random Act of Kindness Day began in New Zealand back in 2004, and has since become a global phenomenon. This year will mark its 20th anniversary, and it's common to see ‘raktivists’ celebrate the day by ‘paying it forward’ in drive-thrus and coffee shop lines, volunteering, or doing something else to make another person’s day better.
6. Employee Appreciation Day – March 1
If you’re working in HR, this is one date you don’t want to forget. Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday of March in the United States, and is also becoming popular in other countries around the world.
You should plan to do something special for your people on Employee Appreciation Day in 2024, such as sending them gifts, organizing a fun event, or both. It’s a great opportunity to show your employees just how much you value their hard work and contributions.
7. International Women's Day – March 9
International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the impact of women on society, and is also an opportunity to raise awareness of women’s issues and equality.
You can plan all sorts of events large and small to mark the occasion. Last year at Guusto, we encouraged our team members to share stories about the women in their lives who’d inspired them and shaped who they are today.
8. Administrative Professional Day – April 24
Administrative professionals are the glue that holds businesses together. From office assistants, to data entry clerks, to operations managers, people working in admin make everyone else’s jobs easier, taking care of the organizational tasks that ensure everything runs smoothly.
Unfortunately, this work is often under-appreciated. A lot of administrative tasks can fly under the radar, and their impact on an organization’s success is not always as apparent as the work of others.
The Wednesday of the last full week in April is your chance to rectify that, a dedicated employee appreciation date for administrators of all stripes. It’s a valuable opportunity to highlight their impact, and let them know just how important they really are.
9. National Superhero Day – April 28
If you’re looking for an employee appreciation day with a fun twist, why not celebrate National Superhero Day?
This unofficial holiday has an interesting history. It was invented by Marvel Comics in 1995, who marked the day by asking children what kind of superhero they would like to be if they could have superpowers. Surprisingly, the kids responded by sharing stories of real people in their lives they saw as heroes.
Today, National Superhero Day celebrates both fictional superheroes and real ones, and people regularly use the day as an opportunity to show appreciation to first responders, volunteers, and others who make a difference in our society.
If your employees are game, you can mark the day by asking them to dress up as their favourite superheroes at work, and offer prizes for the best costumes. In keeping with the spirit of the day, you could even offer to make a donation to the winner’s charity of choice.
10. National Bike to Work Day – May 17
Want an employee challenge that promotes both wellness and environmental awareness? Try participating in National Bike to Work Day.
Celebrated on the third Friday in May, the goal of this day is to encourage more people to bike to work, both to reduce the environmental impact of global daily commutes and to encourage people to get active and healthy.
You could promote National Bike to Work Day to your employees, and even offer rewards through your recognition program for anyone who cycles to work on the day. And who knows – once they try it, they might decide to leave the car at home every day.
11. International HR Day – May 20
HR professionals deserve recognition too! We don’t need to tell you just how important the work of human resources is to businesses. This has been especially apparent over the last few years, as HR teams around the world have had to take a more central role in helping companies navigate the challenges of the pandemic, the move to remote work, The Great Resignation, and now the current economic recession.
May 20 is a day for you and your team to celebrate your accomplishments, and a gift card, an event, or even just a well-worded message could be a great way to show your appreciation for your colleagues.
12. Best Friend Day – June 8
Do you have a best friend at work? Research from Gallup has shown that developing close friendships at work can be extremely valuable for employee engagement and happiness, and have an impact on everything from productivity, to employee retention, to customer satisfaction and profits.
You can help to nurture these relationships at your workplace by encouraging your people to celebrate Best Friend Day, which falls in June. You could suggest that they send their best work friend a gift or a message, or just take the time to catch up with them over lunch or a Zoom call.
13. National Intern Day – July 25
We’re extremely grateful for the excellent work that our interns have done here at Guusto. Participants in our co-op programs have played a huge role in helping our company grow, and some have even gone on to join us full-time.
Internships can be a valuable chance for people starting their careers to gain experience and develop their skills, but they can also make extremely important contributions to the companies they work for. Interns can take care of vital tasks that permanent staff can't find time for, provide invaluable support in busy periods, and even bring fresh, original ideas to the table.
National Intern Day is an employee recognition date just for them. It’s a chance to put them centre stage, and highlight everything they’ve brought to your organization.
14. National Book Lovers Day – August 9
Do you have employees who love a good book? Or maybe you want to encourage the office as a whole to read more, either for fun or for their personal development?
If so, celebrating National Book Lovers day is a great idea. You could encourage employees to suggest books for their teammates to read on your Slack or Teams channels, or even start an office book club. If you’re using Guusto, you could also send your team gift cards for Chapters or Amazon so they can treat themselves to a good read.
15. International Day of Charity – September 5
Encouraging your employees to give something back and fostering a spirit of social responsibility is important throughout the year, but the International Day of Charity is a great chance to put it top of mind.
This is another date in your calendar where Guusto can be especially helpful. Our platform allows you to send gift cards that your employees can donate to the charity of their choice. Not only that, but our partnership with the One Drop Foundation means that one day of clean water will be donated for every gift sent.
16. National Video Games Day – September 12
This is another excuse for a fun employee recognition day where you bring your people together to have some fun!
National Video Game Day is a day for gamers everywhere to enjoy their favourite hobby, but even those who don’t play video games much can join in. You can celebrate by getting your team together to play a few games, either in the office or remotely.
17. International Coffee Day – October 1
International Coffee Day is the perfect time to let your employees enjoy a cappuccino, espresso, or latte on you! You could either order coffees for the office if you’re working in-person, or send gift cards for remote employees to redeem at their local Starbucks.
It’s another easy, simple, and inexpensive way to show your appreciation for your team.
18. International Stress Awareness Day – November 6
Wellness in the workplace has become an increasingly hot topic lately, as the stresses of modern life make people more conscious of the need to actively manage their physical and mental health on the job.
There are a number of dates throughout the year which offer opportunities to promote better workplace health, such as Mental Health Awareness Week in early October, and International Self-Care Day in late July.
International Stress Awareness Day, which falls on the first Wednesday of November, could also be a worthwhile employee recognition date to add your diary. The stress that comes with working in high pressure, fast-paced environments can take a toll on people, and encouraging them to take steps to better manage it could be very beneficial.
This could mean treating them to a ‘self-care’ gift, promoting your wellness initiatives, or just taking some time to check in with employees about their stress levels.
19. Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day – December 4
Last but not least, Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day was created to celebrate the achievements of anyone who works in a team. It’s a chance to recognize collaboration, and thank those who have worked with you to achieve common goals.
Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day takes place on December 4, just as the holiday season gets into full swing. This could make it the ideal time to send out your holiday gifts, or hold your year-end recognition awards.
Celebrating this date could be an especially good idea if you work in an industry where the end of the year is a particularly busy period, like retail. Earmarking a day to show your appreciation for the collective efforts of your team could help to boost morale and team spirit as you enter a stressful time.
Never miss an employee recognition day with our 2024 HR calendar
Want to make sure you don’t miss any important employee recognition dates in 2024? We’ve created a comprehensive HR Calendar that includes all of the days listed above, as well as:
- More employee appreciation dates
- DEI and awareness dates
- National & international holidays and festivals
- Other fun dates with exciting ideas for recognition
You can add it to your Google, Outlook, or iCal calendar by following the instructions below:
Add to your Google Calendar
Add to Apple Calendar
Download the calendar file, then double-click it to open in Apple Calendar (or your default calendar app).
Add to your Outlook Calendar
Go to your Outlook Calendar > Click Add Calendar > Subscribe From web > Paste Link > Add to My Calendars
Go to Outlook Calendar > Create Blank Calendar > Write a name of your choice > Click Add Calendar > Upload From File > Click on .ics file > Add to your new calendar
Download PDF Calendar
If you'd prefer a permanent copy of the calendar, you can download a PDF version here:
**Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2022, but has been updated to reflect the correct dates for the coming year, and to add a few more employee recognition dates to your diary!