2022 Employee Engagement and Recognition Key Dates
Workplace holidays, events, and monthly recognition advice
We’re likely preaching to the choir when we say it’s been quite a year. Though we can’t predict how 2022 will turn out, we can take the time to celebrate our most important asset: our employees. Recognition isn’t just a passing trend. In fact, 69% of employees reported they would stay at their company if there was better rewards and recognition.1
To support your rewards and recognition strategy, we created this calendar to highlight important dates you should know, from DEI holidays to feel-good days like Employee Appreciation Day. We also included quick and simple monthly recognition advice for companies of all sizes, budgets and interests so you can keep recognition top of mind all year-long.
Have a happy, productive, and rewarding year!
Tip: Focus on holistic health.
Though step challenges and biometric screenings are great, more and more employees want—and even expect—companies to go beyond physical health programs. Get your year started right with these 9 unique and holistic wellness challenges!
- January 17
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- January 20
Get to Know Your Customer Day
Recognize employees who demonstrate stellar customer service!
- January 24 National Compliment Day
Remember those health goals? Reward employees who’ve stepped up their fitness game
- January 28 National Have Fun at Work Day
Play virtual trivia or a classic—two truths and a lie
Black History Month
Tip: Speak your employees’ love (recognition) language
Everyone loves being recognized, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Show your employees some love by asking them how they prefer to be recognized, then act on it!
- February 1
Chinese New Year
- February 2
- February 13
Super Bowl Sunday
- February 14 Valentine’s Day
Send an e-valentine about why you appreciate your team
- February 17
Random Act of Kindness Day
Random acts of kindness don’t always work at work. Read here to find out why.
- February 21
Family Day, Heritage Day, Islander Day, Louis Riel Day
Send an eGift to help them enjoy their day off just that much more
National Social Work Month
Tip: Encourage peer-to-peer recognition
Did you know that peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive influence than manager-only recognition?2 This Employee Appreciation Day—encourage everyone in your company to recognize each other—not just managers or executives.
- March 1
- March 4
Employee Appreciation Day
- March 8
International Women’s Day
Start a contest to celebrate inspirational women. Give a reward for employees who share their favourite female authors or movie producers—then share the results internally so your whole company has new recommendations!
- March 17
St. Patrick’s Day
- March 20
International Day of Happiness
Start of Spring
Start the new season with recognition. Who’s already hit their Q1 goals? Recognize them!
Be a Donor Month
Tip: Integrate financial health into your wellness program
Financial stress can wreak havoc on engagement. In fact, 78% of employees who deal with financial stress are distracted at work.3 To prepare your employees for the future, consider offering financial seminars and ask your employees which topics are most relevant for them. Give incentives for class participation and for employees who meet their goals, like starting a savings account!
- April 1
April Fool’s Day
International Fun at Work Day
Indulge your inner practical joker and have some fun with your colleagues
- April 2
- April 11
National Pet Day Send photos of your pets (or babies!) to your team
- April 15
- April 17
- April 21
World Creativity and Innovation Day
Start a suggestion box—then recognize employees for their creativity
- April 27
Administrative Professionals Day
Reward the ones who organize your company: admins
Asian Heritage Month
Tip: Cultivate a culture of belonging
Recognition isn’t just about treats or gifts—it’s also about making sure your company fosters a culture of belonging for all employees. With critical dates like mental health week, Asian Heritage month, AccessAbility week and Cultural Diversity day, now is the perfect time to evaluate whether your recognition strategy is inclusive. Consider highlighting Asian employees on your internal blog, starting employee resource groups (ERGs), or simply having authentic conversations around diversity and mental health issues.
- May 2
Eid al Fitr
Mental Health Week
- May 3
Teacher Appreciation Day
- May 8
- May 9
National Nurses Week starts
- May 11
Eat What you Want Day
National Receptionists Day
- May 20
Bike to Work Day
Encourage employees to get active—then post a bike selfie
- May 23
- May 28
National Burger Day
Almost every city has a famed burger. Send your co-workers the best burger of their city via a food delivery card or app
- May 29
National AccessAbility Week
LGBTQ Pride Month
Tip: Warm up to summer fun
Let’s face it—when summer rolls around, many of us would rather be outdoors than sitting in Zoom meetings. If you haven’t already, consider embracing flexible scheduling, host a virtual picnic, or give your employees an extra day-off to enjoy summer fun.
- June 1
Global Running Day
- June 3
National Donut Day
We love any excuse for sweets. Send surprise treats to the team!
- June 18
International Picnic Day
Host a potluck (virtual or otherwise) at a local park
- June 19
- June 21
Start of Summer
- June 24
Take your Dog to Work Day
Tip: Embrace summer hobbies
You are a human first and an employee second, and your employees are no different. With many people reporting burnout during work-from-home, show you value your employees’ human side by giving them time to do a hobby each week. Then, give rewards to those who post pictures of activity on your company’s internal communication channel!
- July 1
- July 7
- July 9
Eid al Adha starts
- July 11
All American Pet Photo Day
- July 18
Nelson Mandela International Day
- July 24
International Self-Care Day
Sponsor a massage, meditation session, or other wellness treat for your employees
- July 28
National Intern Day
- July 30
International Day of Friendship
International Happiness Happens Month
Tip: Celebrate the Small Wins
Though it’s easy to recognize team members when they’ve hit a major project milestone or during the holidays, there are also little moments in-between that often get forgotten. Did one of your employees go the extra mile for a customer or take a training course? Increase your employees’ engagement by rewarding the small wins!
- August 2
Ice Cream Sandwich Day
- August 9
World Indigenous Peoples Day
- August 16
Tell a Joke Day
Send a dad joke or meme to your team
- August 17
National Non-profit Day
Do you have volunteers or non-profit vendors, clients, or customers? Feature them in an employee newsletter about how they contribute to the mission of your company
- August 26
Women’s Equality Day
Tip: Schedule a hackathon
As we come back from summer vacations and ramp up for Q4, consider hosting a hackathon for employees to brainstorm new products or services. This gives people a break from their daily routines and boosts their skills, which are all critical for engagement. Give rewards for participation and to employees for ideas that your company uses!
- September 5
International Day of Charity #CharityDay
- September 10
Suicide Prevention Day
Brainstorm with your employees on how to improve mental health at work—then act on it
- September 16
Military Family Appreciation Day
- September 22
Start of Fall
- September 25
Rosh Hashana begins
- September 27
National Coffee Day
Break silos by encouraging employees to have coffee with someone new
- September 30
Orange Shirt Day
Women’s History Month Global
National Healthy Workplace Month
Tip: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
Thanksgiving and gratitude go hand in hand, but did you also now that cultivating gratitude among your employees is a sure-fire way to boost engagement? Aside from recognizing your employees—which is always appreciated—you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude by encouraging employees to donate to minority-owned businesses or having conversations on Native American history. Three-quarters of employees who work for a company with similar values report higher satisfaction with their jobs. Besides that, giving or paying respect to various cultures can boost happiness and joy!4
- October 4
Yom Kippur begins
- October 7
World Smile Day
- October 10
World Mental Health Day
- October 16
Boss Appreciation Day
Recognition isn’t just for employees. Ask teams to send their boss a quirky award, like “Best Dressed” or “Funniest Boss” award
- October 24
- October 31
Have your employees send photos of themselves and their families in costume
Tip: Keep recognition inclusive
Celebrating your people also means embracing inclusivity. Are there any employees that feel left out of your recognition initiatives? For example, if you have an online recognition platform, how are you supplementing your efforts for front-line workers? Ask your employees how they feel through an employee committee or anonymous survey, then reward them for participation!
- November 11
- November 13
World Kindness Day
- November 24
Unique Talent Day
- November 29
Encourage employees to give back to a meaningful cause.
Tip: Focus on holiday self-care
With the holidays comes an influx of events and responsibilities. Encourage employees to make time for themselves through mindfulness, exercise, or doing a morning or evening routine. Remember to take time out for yourself too—planning a year of recognition and rewards isn’t easy. Celebrate that you got through another year.
- December 5
International Volunteer Day
Teams that volunteer together stay together. Whether your teams are in the office or dispersed, encourage employees to volunteer with a local charity or donate to a social cause
- December 18
- December 21
- December 25
- December 26
- December 31
New Year’s Eve
Recognition Any Day
With so many holidays and recognition ideas, it can be challenging to decide which days and causes to promote in your company. Ultimately, the best recognition strategy involves your employees’ feedback, so ask them what matters to them—then, rinse and repeat!
We hope this calendar inspires you to make recognition and rewards an integral part of your employee engagement strategy. Whether it’s a holiday or not, your people are worth celebrating any day of the year!
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Start a conversation with a rewards and recognition expert or call us at 833.727.6540.
1 6 Statistics that Confirm Employee Recognition and Retention are Related, https://www.toolbox.com/hr/employee-recognition/articles/employee-recognition-and-retention-statistics/, 2021
2 The 2018 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Report, http://go.globoforce.com/rs/862-JIQ-698/images/SHRM2017_GloboforceEmployeeRecognitionReportFinal.pdf?_ga=2.181556775.1655145278.1641946474-1785039714.1641946474, 2018
3 Morgan Stanley Study Finds that Financial Wellness Is an Opportunity to Reduce Employee Stress, Improve Retention and Engagement, and Differentiate Companies, https://apnews.com/article/lifestyle-business-stress-job-stress-management-mental-health-1165d1e23e934b4a8d828844b97fb0ac, 2019
4 Money is no longer the biggest incentive in selecting a job, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/11/29/money-no-longer-biggest-incentive-selecting-job/901899001/, 2017