How Reward & Recognition Programs can Leverage National Awareness Days


It seems like there’s a day for everything: National Pizza Day, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, National Siblings Day…not to mention the actual National Holidays. How can reward & recognition programs leverage National Awareness Days?

Some National Awareness Days can feel manufactured, and in fact, some are created by the industries they promote. In an employee reward and recognition program, however, some of the Holidays can help to celebrate specific participant groups or client industries. Leveraging seasonal Holidays can also help to spur engagement and provide a new way to recognize employees around a specific topic.

Major traditional Holidays are well known of course, but some of the lesser-known awareness days or weeks can offer additional themes and a short-term focus for program boosts. Because many of the National Awareness Days are centered around causes and appreciation, they are a natural fit for reward and recognition programs. Others can just inject a little something different into the program, just for fun. For instance:

Diet Resolution Week in early January could tie in nicely with an employee wellness program.

National Skip the Straw day in February could offer the opportunity to incorporate “green” initiatives into the reward and recognition program.

International Women’s Day in March provides a chance to focus on women who have made an impact on the company or celebrate contributions of women throughout history.

National Volunteers Week in April could focus on a company cause or charity. Employees could earn additional program points or other perks for volunteering.

National Loyalty Day in March is a natural tie-in to recognize and celebrate clients, employees and other business partners.

June is National Safety Month; a perfect opportunity to focus on a safer workplace and focus on and reward specific safety activities.

National Mac-and-cheese Day in July (yes, it’s a thing!) could prompt a management cook-off with employees judging the best recipes.

National Non-Profit Day in August offers another opportunity to adopt a non-profit organization and earn additional program points by donating funds or volunteer hours.

National Self-Care Month in September offers the opportunity to incorporate strategies to reduce stress and adopt additional self-care habits.

National Work at Home Week is in October. If your company has remote employees, they could be invited to share best practices. If your company does not offer a work-from-home option, this week could be an experiment for those employees that could perform their work from home, even if just for this week.

National Donut Day in November. Enough said.

National Hand-Washing Awareness Week in December seems especially timely during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s equally important during a “regular” cold and flu season. Incorporating a focus on general personal health practices into your program will also encourage a healthier and safer workplace.

Employee reward and recognition programs contribute to a positive corporate culture and increase engagement. Incorporating National Awareness Days into your program can boost participation add a little excitement.

Contact one of our Incentive Professionals today to discuss the many benefits a reward and recognition program can reap for your organization.



In economic terms, the multiplier effect refers to the proportional increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of capital. In terms of Safety Reward Programs, the multiplier effect might refer to the ROI² (Return on Incentive Investment). A properly structured program significantly impacts overall employee engagement and safety culture, where employees are attuned to safety-related issues, inspired to display “Above & Beyond” safe behaviors, willing to be safety ambassadors, and encouraged to promote learning and support continuous improvement. Such best-in-class programs are designed to promote group objectives and reward individual behavior, engaging, motivating, and rewarding the people behind your success.

Fortunately, there are thousands of companies in high-risk industries that have excellent safety programming, training, and coaching in place. Many include safety in their list of core values and have invested heavily in EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) technology, training, telematics, and personnel. However, too many miss the opportunity to incentivize and recognize individual safety contributions, behaviors, and performance.

Programs featuring tangible and experiential awards as the reward currency can have a multiplying effect that pays dividends. Benefits include a more highly engaged workforce, fewer accidents and incidents, reduced claims and losses, lower turnover and absenteeism, better communication, increased productivity, visibility to leading and lagging indicators, incremental coaching and training opportunities, and improved profitability.

So, what’s the rub? Are engagement programs focused on employee safety, health, and wellness expensive to implement? Do they only make sense for companies with thousands of safety-sensitive workers? The answer to both questions is no. Properly structured programs can be cost-effective and right-sized for companies with as few as 100 safety-sensitive workers up to those with 10,000 or more. The ROI² of these programs can be expressed as a ratio (in this case, 4:1), with quantitative results showing a savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and qualitative results revealing higher employee morale, which serves as a catalyst for productivity. Safety Reward Programs help to mitigate risk, elevate employee engagement, and improve overall safety culture. They also present an excellent opportunity for companies to simply say thank you to their employees for being safe, committed, and engaged.

People have an inherent need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. Safety Reward Programs provide the stimulus and energy that encourage employees to perform at their best and achieve new heights.



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