Author Simon Sinek titled his 2014 New York Times Bestseller, Leaders Eat Last. According to our 2022 Global Culture Report, leaders get recognized last as well. The study showed that only 8% of leaders had received recognition in the last month—compared to 28% of individual contributors. If you have a great boss, that’s a fact worth knowing, and acting on.
National Boss Day—or Boss’s Day—on October 16 is an ideal time to recognize your boss and thank them for being your team’s defender, battling for resources, and for creating a circle of safety where your team can do its best work. How can you best celebrate Boss’s Day? Read on to discover seven of the best tried-and-true methods of expressing boss appreciation.
You’re probably already aware of the positive benefits of employee recognition. It boosts morale, increases productivity, inspires creativity, and helps keep employees longer. In the run-up to Boss’s Day, it’s important to remember that bosses are people too. And the benefits of recognition apply to your leader as well as any employee.
You may already use your company’s recognition platform for peer-to-peer recognition.
But what about using it to recognize your manager? October 16 is a great opportunity to send a shout out with points to a manager you know who has your back and keeps your team focused and firing on all cylinders.
Manager appreciation lets team members acknowledge and support leaders who instill camaraderie, inclusion, and innovation on their teams. Recognition, even for bosses, can do more than help companies engage and reward employees. Recognition for leaders helps teams bond and reinforces positive behaviors and helps instill a culture of appreciation.
Following are a few ideas to celebrate a great boss or leader and show appreciation in a sincere and meaningful way.
1. Send a “Boss Day” card
When the entire team signs a printed greeting card, it lets your manager know in a personal way that everyone appreciates what they do to make work life better. Team members can also include a simple thank you message in a personalized digital card that they send through their employee recognition platform. With both options—printed and digital—you can send a clear message that will be well-received and remembered.
2. Thank them with points
Sending points along with your digital card can make National Boss Day even better. Saying thank you with points lets your boss choose their own gift. Modern employee recognition software solutions like O.C. Tanner’s Culture Cloud include a points bank and multiple ways to give and receive points over time. When team members include points, they add up quickly so your boss can choose a meaningful item from a large selection of gifts.
3. Give a personal gift
Gift ideas for your manager can include simple gifts such as tickets to a local concert or sporting event, a coffee mug, or water bottle, or even a desk plant to spruce up their office. Gift cards for a favorite retailer or shopping site can also make a great boss appreciation gift. You can always buy a gift card—but remember, your boss can also choose a gift card from an online rewards catalog, like the one in Culture Cloud, if you send them points.
4. Throw a “boss” party
Throwing a party for your boss will make Boss’s Day even more memorable. The celebration might include treats like doughnuts, bagels, a custom cake—or even homemade goodies. You could make it a potluck lunch party for the whole team or get your boss’s favorite restaurant food delivered. And of course, this is the perfect time to present a card, a gift, or thoughts of appreciation from the team.
5. Celebrate them on a company site
Everyone on your team may know how great your leader is, but what about the rest of the company? If you have a recognition solution like Culture Cloud you can post to your recognition social wall where employees can see and comment on a leader’s accomplishments. National Boss Day is also a good time to feature a post on an intranet page or public social media platform like LinkedIn to showcase your leader’s accomplishments and celebrate your company culture.
6. Get out of the office
Make it a special day by changing up your surroundings. Plan an off-site adventure where your manager and team members can feel more comfortable and at ease. It could be as simple as making reservations at the boss’s favorite dining spot. Or make it a stress-reducing adventure by playing a round of golf or taking up a friendly game of ax throwing. Present cards, gifts, or awards to the boss and the game winners as well!
7. Create a custom leader award
A symbolic award can become a permanent reminder of your team’s appreciation. A leadership award could take the form of a trophy, pin, book, jewelry—or another creative piece tied to your manager’s personality or hobbies. Awards are best when accompanied by a letter of appreciation or a party to recognize the accomplishment.
While National Boss’s Day happens once a year, it shouldn’t be the only day we take time to thank our leaders. Like all types of recognition, appreciating managers more frequently helps organizations increase the many long-term benefits of recognition. For example, when teams and their leaders are both more engaged through appreciation, the quality of work increases.
No matter how you choose to thank your leaders, do it. Celebrating together leads to a healthy company culture where both employees and managers feel more loyal and stay with the organization longer.
More Employee Recognition Resources
There are so many different ways to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate your employees. Here are more resources for guidance:
• Guide to Employee Recognition Programs
• 11 Employee Recognition Ideas
• 22 Awesome Employee Recognition Gift Ideas
• 9 Tips for How to Choose Employee Recognition Software
• Heartfelt Employee Appreciation Quotes to Say "Thank You"
• Benefits of Peer to Peer Recognition
• Best Practices for Virtual Employee Recognition
• Guide to Years of Service Awards
• Tips to Celebrate Work Anniversaries
• Employee Recognition in the Modern Workplace
• Victories: Modern Recognition Software
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