International HR Day (Saturday 20th May) reminds leaders everywhere to appreciate the HR professionals working tirelessly behind the scenes of an organisation.
HR teams have faced unprecedented challenges, particularly over the last four years, from the far-reaching impact of the pandemic to the strain of a cost-of-living crisis. Despite this, they have continued to support organisations and employees alike.
In this article, we’ll cover what International HR Day is, why it’s important to celebrate it and some fun ways to champion your HR team in the workplace.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
What is International HR Day?
International HR Day is an annual event dedicated to recognising the vital role played by human resources professionals worldwide. A study by Workvivo found that only 29% of HR professionals felt their work was valued in the workplace, which means that a massive 71% don’t feel appreciated.
This day serves as an opportunity to appreciate and highlight the significant contributions and achievements of each and every HR practitioner. It encourages leaders to invest in robust HR practices and policies that prioritise their employees’ wellbeing and growth, creating a positive and inclusive work culture.
Why it’s Important to Celebrate International HR Day With Your Team
Promoting a Positive Culture
Celebrating International HR Day with your team is an opportunity to foster a positive and appreciative culture within the organisation. By recognising the efforts and achievements of HR professionals, you send a powerful message to your entire workforce that their contributions are valued. This act of appreciation can ripple through the organisation, promoting a culture of gratitude, respect, and recognition for each team member’s work.
Recognising the Importance of HR
HR professionals often work tirelessly, tackling complex challenges and intricate employee-related issues. International HR Day provides a platform to acknowledge the indispensable role of HR and the critical impact they have on the organisation’s success. By celebrating this day with your team, you shine a light on the efforts of HR professionals and remind everyone of the essential function they serve in building a thriving and sustainable work environment.
Boosting Engagement and Morale
It’s easy for morale to dip when you’re faced with conflicts and complaints day after day. International HR Day allows organisations to lift the morale and engagement of the HR team through acknowledgement of their hard work. When employees feel appreciated and recognised, their engagement and morale soar. Involving your team in the celebration creates a positive and uplifting atmosphere that boosts everyone.
Ways to Celebrate International HR Day
There are many ways to celebrate International HR Day and honour the contributions of HR professionals. Here are some ideas to make this day special for your HR team:
Put on a Team Building Activity
Organise a team-building activity encouraging collaboration, communication, and camaraderie among HR professionals. It could be a fun team-building game, a trip outside the office, or a virtual team-building event that brings the team closer together.
Treat the Team to Lunch/Dinner
Show appreciation by treating your HR team to a special lunch or dinner. It allows them to relax, bond, and reflect on their achievements. Consider organising a themed lunch or selecting a restaurant that they would enjoy.
Offer Further Development
Invest in the professional development of your HR team by arranging a lunch and learn session or a training workshop, for instance. Invite an expert to share insights on emerging HR trends, new technologies, or innovative practices. This promotes continuous learning and growth within the team.
Social Media Appreciation
Take to social media platforms to publicly recognise and appreciate your HR team’s hard work and dedication. Share stories, testimonials, and accomplishments of individual team members to showcase their contributions to the organisation.
Provide Gifts for the Team
Consider surprising your HR team with thoughtful and personalised gifts. It could be a token of appreciation, such as a customised mug, a book related to their professional interests, or a gift card to spend wherever they like. The gesture will make them feel valued and appreciated.
Give HR an Organisation-Wide Spotlight
Feature a special HR spotlight in your company newsletter or on your intranet. Highlight the achievements, initiatives, and success stories of the HR team. This recognition not only boosts morale but also increases awareness of the vital role HR plays within the organisation.
Decorate the Office
Bringing a bit of colour and a celebratory feel to the office will make your HR team feel special. Decorate the HR department with balloons and banners to add a touch of excitement to the day.
Invite a Guest Speaker
Arrange for someone external to your organisation to address your HR team, such as a motivational speaker. The speaker can share insights on resilience, work-life balance, and personal growth. Hearing from someone they admire should energise and motivate the team.
Provide Career Coaching
Offer career coaching or mentoring sessions to your HR team members. Help them explore their career goals, identify development opportunities, and create a plan for professional advancement. This investment in their growth demonstrates your commitment to their long-term success.
Give Personalised ‘Thank You’ Notes
Write personalised thank-you notes expressing your gratitude and appreciation for each member of your HR team. Handwritten notes have a personal touch and demonstrate the effort you put into acknowledging their individual contributions.
Put on a Quiz
Organise a fun HR-themed quiz or trivia competition to test the knowledge of your HR team. It promotes engagement and teamwork and allows them to showcase their expertise lightheartedly.
Host an HR Award Ceremony
Create special HR awards to recognise outstanding achievements within the HR department. Categories can include ‘Innovator of the Year’, ‘Employee Advocate’, or ‘Collaboration Champion’. Celebrate the winners during a dedicated ceremony or event and highlight their contributions to the organisation.
Top tips to ensure the celebrations go smoothly
Let’s look at what organisations need to bear in mind when planning their HR appreciation celebrations:
Plan, Plan, Plan
Begin planning for the International HR Day celebrations in advance. This allows you ample time to brainstorm ideas, allocate resources, and coordinate logistics for a successful event.
Understand why you’re celebrating the day and what you want your team to get out of it. Whether it’s to boost team morale, foster a sense of appreciation, or promote collaboration, having clear objectives will help guide your planning process.
Secure a Budget
Ensure you know how much (or how little!) you can spend. Think about all costs, including decorations, gifts, and activities and make sure you have enough to cover everything you want to do. By ringfencing the budget, you ensure that you have sufficient finances to achieve everything you want to.
Get Involvement from the Team
Involve your HR team in planning by seeking their input and ideas. Encourage them to share their thoughts on the type of activities, themes, or recognition gestures they would appreciate.
On top of that, you could assign specific tasks and responsibilities to members of your HR team. This not only spreads the workload but also ensures that everyone is actively involved in making the celebrations a success.
In advance, communicate the purpose, date, and details of the International HR Day celebrations with your entire HR team. Utilise internal communication channels such as emails, team meetings, or a dedicated communication platform. Factorial’s employee portal is perfect for this kind of collaboration.
You could also extend the communication beyond the HR team. Inform the rest of the organisation about the upcoming celebrations to create anticipation and generate support. Share the significance of International HR Day and how it aligns with the organisation’s values and goals.