A Labor Day celebration is an event marking the US federal holiday of the same name. This holiday is celebrated in September, on the first Monday of the month. The weekend before this holiday is known as Labor Day Weekend.

Labor Day was created to honor the contributions of laborers and the labor movement to the growth of the United States. The holiday was first proposed in the late 1800s when trade unions and labor movements were advocating for workers’ rights. By 1887, Oregon had declared Labor Day a state holiday and by 1894, the United States made Labor Day a national holiday.

Company Labor Day celebrations can be tailored to your team and company culture. Some companies close, giving workers a day off, while others throw a Labor Day party or mark the holiday with festivities or employee recognition.

Should Your Business Celebrate Labor Day?

Labor Day is a non-religious holiday, which allows everyone to take part in the festivities if they wish to. Celebrating this holiday has a few benefits:

  • It’s an ideal time to show appreciation for workers and the contribution they make to your company and community, which in turn can promote employee engagement.
  • Since engaged teams have 21% higher profitability when compared with less engaged employees, creating a workplace your employees want to work in can have economic benefits.
  • Celebrating Labor Day can help build your culture by helping you create holiday traditions and fun memories.
  • Taking part in public events like Labor Day parades helps build your profile and brand in your community. 

How To Plan a Company Labor Day Celebration

It can take a few weeks to plan a Labor Day event at your company. Starting as well in advance as you can, you may want to:

  • Plan ahead: Create a budget and decide on when and where you will celebrate. You can use an app like Connecteam to easily schedule your team so everyone who wants to attend the celebrations can do so. You should also decide who will be in charge of planning the party, whether it’s an individual or a small team. If your business will be closed on Labor Day, when would it be best to have the celebration? If you will be open, can you dedicate part of the day solely to Labor Day activities, or do they need to be integrated into operations?   
  • Consider inviting employee families: Partners and children of workers are often available over Labor Day weekend, so this can be a good time to celebrate with families. If you decide to invite your employees’ families to your event, be sure to indicate that each employee can bring family members or friends, ensuring that single team members or members separated from family feel included too.
  • Get feedback: Ask workers whether they want a Labor Day party and what they might want it to include. You can use Connecteam surveys and polls to find out what your employees would like to experience at your festivities.
  • Decide on a goal: Do you want to build company culture, make a contribution to a charity or community event, celebrate workers, or just bond together as a team? Deciding what you want to achieve can help you choose appropriate activities.
  • Send out invitations: A few weeks before the event, send out invitations to team members so each employee has enough time to plan their attendance. Make attendance voluntary so your workers can choose not to take part if they prefer. If you have a theme, goal, or specific activities planned, share these on the invitations, so your workers know what the festivities will involve.

Ideas for Company Labor Day Celebrations

You can choose to host a Labor Day party with your employees or choose something more low-key, such as having extra treats in the workplace. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Throw a cookout: In the United States, Labor Day marks the official end of summer since fall, and the school year start shortly after the beginning of September. This can be an opportunity to throw a summertime event, such as a barbecue or picnic if the weather allows. You can also host a virtual cookout or summer event by having everyone take part via videoconference.
  • Take care of workers: Fall can be a busy time for most people, and in many sectors, it is just before the even busier holiday season. Take care of hard-working and tired employees by treating them to a restaurant meal or a self-care day at a local spa, where each employee can select the spa treatments they want.
  • Consider giving small bonuses: Since Labor Day is about workers and their contributions, your workers may appreciate getting a small bonus or even gift cards.
  • Rent a private dining room: Many restaurants rent out private dining rooms for a day or evening. This can be a good place to host a Labor Day celebration without disrupting work. If you have deskless workers, it can be fun to get the team together in a local restaurant.
  • Switch roles: Cook and serve your workers a meal instead of having them work for you.
  • Create a float: If your community has a Labor Day parade, you can build a creative float with your team and celebrate your workplace by taking part in those festivities. You could even take your team out for a meal afterward.
  • Give back to the community: Labor Day can be a good way to show worker appreciation by giving back as a team. You might want to write to elected representatives together to advocate for safer workplaces, for example. You can also volunteer at a shelter or hold a school supply drive to help teachers and students in need who will be starting classes shortly after Labor Day.
  • Award prizes to your workers: Labor Day is an excellent time to hand out employee awards and gifts, either in person or virtually. You can choose serious categories, such as “most helpful” or silly ones like “best meme sharer.” You may also choose to write hand-written letters to each member of your team, describing what you appreciate about their work and the contribution they make to the team.

Labor Day at Your Company

If you choose to hold company Labor Day celebrations, keep your workers at the front of your mind. This is their day. Whether you choose to give back to your community, wait on your staff, or have a party to mark the end of another summer, celebrating this holiday is a great way to acknowledge all that your employees do for your business and for the wider community.