Your HR team shoulders the responsibility for some of the most important tasks in your business — from sourcing and hiring the top talents in your industry, to getting those new hires up and running right away with onboarding, to creating a wonderful employee experience that makes your people want to stick around.
None of these tasks are easy. And they too often fly under the radar, since they tend to be noticed only when something goes wrong. But HR professionals need recognition and appreciation just as much as any other employee.
That’s why celebrating Human Resource Professional Day is so critical — plus, it can be fun!
What is International HR Professional Day?
Also known as International Human Resources Day, this day was created to celebrate the hard work and contributions of HR teams across the world. It’s a chance to highlight the many ways HR teams make your organization the success that it is, from managing employees at every level to leading learning and development and creating a positive, productive work environment.
HR Professional Day is a relatively new holiday, dating only to 2018 in its official form, but it’s a meaningful one nonetheless (and a great day to add to your list of HR holidays). It’s great to see that the contributions and hard work of HR teams everywhere are celebrated and appreciated.
But coming up with the perfect way to show your HR department that you care can be challenging — don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the ten most special ways to mark this big day and delight your HR department.
1. HR Employee Spotlights
Sending a mass email saying “thanks, HR team!” might be easy, but great recognition is more personal. Instead, consider writing up employee spotlights for each member of your HR team.
These can be light and fun, like sharing their favorite flavor of ice cream and their dream vacation, or they can be serious and show what experienced and credentialed professionals they are. Take whichever path aligns best with your company culture. Your employees can learn more about their co-workers in HR, and your HR pros will feel seen and special.
2. Take Your HR Team Out
Offering a team building day out can be a great way to celebrate your human resources department. And it has multiple benefits — you give your hardworking HR team a day to enjoy themselves away from the office, and they can build stronger bonds with each other in the process.
The day out could be all about fun at a local attraction, or you could have a day of service at a local charity where everyone pitches in to help complete a needed project. Those service days can feel great for your team, and it also provides your business with a boost in the community. Not sure which option your HR team would prefer? Ask them! Or better yet, let your HR managers choose what to do with the day so you know everyone will enjoy it to the max.
3. Build an HR Appreciation Wall
If your employees mostly work in one office, this celebration of gratitude is fun and easy: print out pictures of your HR team and give your employees some information about what interesting and experienced people they are. This “wall of fame” gives your HR employees more visibility and humanity within your company while making them feel great too.
But if your employees are mostly remote or hybrid, you can still build a great HR appreciation wall! You just need to reimagine it a bit. You could put up pictures and a fun fact or quote for each HR employee on your intranet or internal social media, or send out an email with the pictures and info to celebrate the day.
4. Cater a Lovely Meal
Providing a delicious catered breakfast or lunch is a great way to reward HR professionals for their hard work. Of course, this is easiest if everyone is in the office together, but with the rise of remote work, that’s not always the case.
You can give employees a gift card to a local spot if they’re working remotely, or even send them all a treat at their homes to enjoy on the day. Be sure to check for any dietary restrictions before you hit send.
5. Give Shoutouts on Social Media
Recognizing your HR team internally is great — but so is a little external validation. Post on your social media feeds about how great your HR team is and what they’ve accomplished over the past year to spread the love. You can even use this as a way to increase your employer brand and highlight open HR positions at your company if you’re hiring.
And since 56% of HR professionals say that recognition helps with recruiting efforts, this kind of public recognition shows potential new hires that your workplace culture is full of recognition and appreciation.
6. Make an HR Appreciation Video
Videos don’t need to be polished and expensive to be fun — in fact, if they’re too polished they can feel inauthentic. Taking the time to make a quick appreciation video, from your leaders, HR managers, or employees with testimonials about how much their work is appreciated, can go a long way in helping your HR team truly feel how much their work is seen and valued by your company.
7. Send Thank You Notes from Leadership
If you think about your most treasured moments of recognition at work, many of them likely came from a leader. They’re busy people, so it’s extra meaningful when they take time to write even a brief note of thanks. Asking a few leaders, especially your head of HR, to write notes of appreciation to your HR team members is a lovely way to celebrate the day. Plus, it doesn’t cost anything!
8. Send an HR Care Package
This celebration is great for fully remote teams — send each HR team member a care package for the day. This could include some fun company swag, a few items for a self-care day, some delicious snacks, or anything else your employees might enjoy. Don’t just toss in some leftover company tshirts from a recent outing though — make sure the care package is thoughtful and customized to HR for it to really resonate with them.
9. Offer HR Employees Support
Working in HR can be a challenging job, especially when your teams are dealing with issues like layoffs or hiring freezes. Your HR team is tending to employee well-being for everyone else, and so their needs might be neglected.
Ensure that you’re providing the support they need to continue supporting everyone around them, like giving them access to mental health resources (and providing confidentiality for those services). Hopefully, you’ve developed a work culture that supports all your employees, inside HR and outside of it, when they need help.
10. Hold an HR Knowledge-Sharing Session
You could hold an HR seminar where your team gets updated on the latest working practices in the HR community, either with an internal or external speaker. Your HR people are passionate about the field, so why not celebrate International HR Day by helping them learn more about it?
There’s always something new to learn about human resource management, people management, and employee relations (not to mention any changes in upcoming legislation or anything else big in the HR industry).
Making Human Resource Professional Day Special
Your HR team makes life better for everyone at your company, so they deserve a special day of their own. Use these ideas for celebrating HR Professional Day as your own, or tweak them to fit your unique HR employees — there’s so many ways to celebrate them meaningfully.
Looking for more ways to recognize and reward your employees in HR and all across your organization? Cooleaf can help!