More than 100 years ago when Labor Day was first created, it was built on the idea that this day would recognize and honor America’s workforce. Today, however, according to a recent Glassdoor survey, more Americans (59%) believe it symbolizes the end of summer, a day off (47%), and a time to be with family and friends (43%) rather than a celebration of American workers (41%). One in 10 thinks the holiday means nothing at all. And nearly one in five says it means the start of football season.
Perhaps the reason for this lies in the fact that many employees do not feel their employers reward or take note of their accomplishments on this day or any other day in the past year. The majority of employees (52%) report their employer has done nothing to reward their achievements in the past year. This aligns with what employees are saying on Glassdoor, with Recognition & Feedback as one of the lowest rated workplace attributes compared to seven of the other factors (see chart below).
So while many workers felt they had made certain achievements professionally in the past year (95%), only 41% said their employers celebrated those achievements. For example, 16% received praise privately, 13% reported that they were rewarded with extra time off, 12% got a raise and 11% got some type of gift. On top of this, nearly three in five (59%) report they are making the same or less than they were two years ago.
And for those who are unemployed but looking for a job, Labor Day is less about a day off than finding a job. More than half (53%) of unemployed job seekers plan to do something related to their job search this coming Monday: 50% plan to search for a job, 15% plan to update their resume, and 11% plan to go on a job interview.
So whether you plan on taking time to relax this Labor Day or stay up on your job search, take time to recognize your achievements (even if no one else does) and take time to recognize your co-workers and others who help make America’s workforce run.
What does Labor Day mean to you? Do you think we have strayed too far from the meaning of Labor Day?