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President’s Day is always the third Monday of February and intended to celebrate our first President, George Washington, as his birthday was also in February.  It was first celebrated in 1880, made a federal holiday in 1885, and moved to officially be scheduled on the 3rd Monday of February in 1971. Abraham Lincoln also has a February birthday as many other prestigious people in history. February is the shortest month of the year but we manage to pack a lot in.

Do you get to celebrate the Holiday?

George Washington is indeed worth celebrating, however, not everyone is off from work on federal holidays.  For those who do not have the day off, it’s just another day at work, and maybe you have to go to work while your family members have the day off.  This is when it gets more difficult to care about who is being celebrated or why.  But difficult days also offer opportunities.

Make it a Holiday at work!

When you don’t want to be at work, you’re probably not the only one. Here’s an opportunity to make it a holiday while at work.  Get creative! Tap into what makes you happy and take the opportunity to learn what makes your co-workers happy.  As a manager, you may not be someone who naturally thinks about doing these things. Indeed, there are people who are naturals at this and others who have to work a little harder.

If you are not a natural at showing appreciative gestures towards your team, consider asking those who are to step into this role and then support them! Delegate someone to ask your team what would make working on a holiday more enjoyable.  Then let them know they have your support, perhaps a small budget, and to include you in what will be planned. Be especially careful to let them use their natural abilities to make this happen; don’t micro-manage.

There are a number of ideas to be found online. Some are some to get you started: 

  • President’s day special donuts and coffee,
  • President’s day cookie delivery to employees,
  • A Presidential themed trivia game during coffee breaks or lunch with prizes,
  • Give each employee a specific compliment about what would make them a great President

Plan ahead and make it fun

As a manager, you can plan ahead, make it an annual event with new ideas each year, and learn more about your team when you ask them what they look forward to or really appreciate. If you are not the type who gets even remotely excited about doing the ‘people friendly’ things like this, it doesn’t mean it’s a weakness – your strengths are in other areas.  Find those on your team who do have the natural strengths to organize ‘people events’ and let them shine. 

These are the strengths that are needed when your organization has to work on holidays, in inclement weather, in dangerous situations, or under duress for any number of reasons.  Find ways to always treat people like they are human and have a life outside of work, no matter what your strengths are.

To gain more insights into maximizing the strengths of your team, as well as your strengths as a manager, learn more here

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