September 6th is Labor Day. But…is it really?
Labor Day was originally created (in 1894) to celebrate the achievements of American workers and their contributions to the economy. But now, most of us have lost sight of that intent and regard it as the end of summer, outdoor pools closing (here in the Washington DC area), picnics, some parades, and the eager anticipation of football coming back.
How do employers and leaders think about Labor Day? I hardly ever hear them talk about it, its’ intent, or as an opportunity to sincerely thank and celebrate their workforce. As we come out of the pandemic, people are asking themselves: “Is that all there is?” “Is this really what I want to be doing?” “Do they care about me?”. The statistics I’ve seen state that about 25% of those employed are seriously considering doing something else. That’s being called “The Mass Resignation”.
Most people have had a good deal of time to contemplate those issues. In my mind it comes down to two basic questions:
Am I “living my passion” and “giving my gift”?
Does my employer value my input, work, and me?
The two pictures below address these questions. The first is my daughter Evelyn after receiving her whistle upon completion of her dolphin training program. Joy!! The dolphin’s name is Don Jose.
The other is my graphic to determine what my engagement level is based on the answers to those three questions.
For you leaders, managers, and supervisors: Do you really value your employees? How do you show it? Do they believe you mean it? We’re not talking perks here. Those become old rather quickly. We’re talking about ensuring their safety, providing the “tools to be successful”, caring about their work/life balance, and more.
A few years ago, I was in a bank and there were balloons, signs, streamers, etc. all proclaiming “Employee Appreciation Day”. Yet, I heard a teller whisper to his co-worker “Yeah, that’s nice, but I wish they would just give us some damn computers that work!”.