Observance days and months are a common way of bringing light to various topics and issues around the world. They are ways to celebrate momentous events, to pay gratitude to an influential person or to raise awareness around an important cause. In the workplace, these days are much more than just an event in our Outlook calendar or a much celebrated day off for employees. They also offer an opportunity to make a statement and demonstrate a corporate commitment to the observance of and support for the day’s theme. Workplaces are made up of the very people we are celebrating and a history we all remember; there is no better community to bring meaning and purpose to observance of these days.
With the availability of social media and the more public expressions companies are making on these platforms, we conducted an analysis of over 80 Fortune 500 companies to see which observance days were most celebrated by corporations. In reviewing your own annual content calendar, this ranking can help to not only benchmark where your company stands but can also assist in planning your own engagement activities. Here are the results of our analysis – a list of the top observances.
|1||Earth Day (April 22)|
|2||International Women's Day (March 8)|
|3||Mother's Day (May 10)|
|4||Father's Day (June 21)|
|5||Black History Month (Feb.)|
|6||World Water Day (March 22)|
|7||Pride Month (June)|
|8||World AIDS Day (Dec. 1)|
|9||World Health Day (April 7)|
|10||World Oceans Day (June 8)|
|11||World Food Day (Oct. 16)|
|12||World Refugee Day (June 20)|
|13||International Day of Friendship (July 30)|
|14||International Day of Peace (Sept. 21)|
|15||Universal Children's Day (Nov. 20)|
Observance days are a chance for colleagues to come together to learn about some of the world’s growing humanitarian issues. Global Impact and our charity partners can help you integrate these observance days into your workplace giving campaigns and employee engagement programs throughout the year. We can supply the activities, tools and content to inspire greater giving and make your engagement opportunity a success.
Here are a few examples from the top 15 list as well as some other popular days (listed chronologically) to get your creativity rolling for incorporating a holiday or observance into your workplace:
Martin Luther King Day of Service (third Monday of January): This day is observed every year on the same day in January as Martin Luther King Day. It is seen as a “day on, not a day off.” Encourage your employees to use this day to volunteer in their local communities. Find local events like a park or lake cleanup or a coat drive for the homeless and help organize a group to represent your company at the event. Have your employees follow up after the event by sharing their photos, which can be published in the monthly newsletter or shown at a staff meeting.
International Women’s Day (March 8): International Women’s Day was first observed in 1911 as a day to recognize women who have served as transcending leaders and continue working to make a positive difference for women. This is a great opportunity to recognize women in your workplace and your community. Celebrate at work with an entire day of activities around International Women’s Day. Bring in speakers to address important gender-focused issues, sponsor your employees to attend women’s events or have your CEO give a presentation on what your company is doing to raise up women in the workplace.
Earth Day (April 22): Organize a competition in your workplace to see which teams can recycle the most in a given period. You can also organize a campus cleanup or plant trees to beautify the grounds around your office while also helping the environment. Global Impact can provide you with several different Earth Day quizzes and employee engagement opportunities to build excitement with your colleagues on this day.
Mother’s Day (second Sunday of May): Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate motherhood as well as a fantastic way to support women globally, especially those who struggle to meet their basic needs. Help them empower their children for a better future. Organize a drive to collect necessities like diapers or formula to support new mothers and their babies. To drive employee engagement, plan different activities in the week leading up to Mother’s Day, like a career-building workshop or trivia about the impact of women around the world.
Father’s Day (third Sunday of June): Father’s Day is a day to celebrate our fathers and grandfathers and any other father-like individuals in our lives. It’s also a chance to help men in our communities and around the world who may not have the resources to support their families. Charities like Mercy Corps offer programs that provide one-on-one technical support and mentorship, connecting individuals to entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Latin America. Put your own business skills to good use. This type of program is an opportunity to engage higher-level employees, leverage their skills for good and help those in need achieve their goals.
International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction (Oct. 13): We all have a role to play in helping our communities prevent and prepare for emergencies. In the wake of a natural disaster like an earthquake or hurricane, families may have lost everything. Make arrangements for your office to help alleviate their loss. Organize an activity with a charity like MAP International where you can build kits with essential post-disaster health and hygiene items. The best part is that they will ship everything you need, so you just have to organize your team and pack those kits!
Are you ready to launch an observance day campaign? Here is how Global Impact can help. Let’s take International Women’s Day for example. Our team can supply the following to help you have an engaging office activity:
- A regional representative to help you make a plan for the engagement
- Images and videos of empowered women and girls around the world from our charity partners. Use these for internal communications and on social media to promote the cause.
- Email templates to communicate internally about the day and any planned staff events.
- Fun employee engagement tools like a quiz or templates for staff to write to their representatives advocating for more inclusive laws for women.
- Access to amazing speakers from leading organizations working to empower women around the world.
Global Impact can provide all of this and more in one easy-to-access platform! Global Impact’s charity partners have ample resources and employee engagement opportunities to ensure that your campaign is a success. By working with Global Impact on these observance days, you can plan effective year-round campaigns knowing that you have content to support your efforts and maximize employee engagement. Here's a list of observance days to get you started.
What day will you observe this year?