Did you know that October 16th is Boss’s Day?


It’s a real thing!

Boss’s Day has been a U.S. national holiday since the 1950’s.

And because this year October 16th falls on a weekend, the official observance will happen on Friday, October 15th.

The purpose of Boss’s Day is for employees to celebrate their supervisors, managers and leaders.

It’s an appreciation day, similar to Administrative Professional’s Day and employee appreciation celebrations that occur in the workplace throughout the year.


A Little Boss’s Day History.

The idea of Boss’ Day was first introduced in 1958 by Patricia Bats Harowski, an employee at State Farm Insurance Company in Deerfield, Illinois.

Harowski’s intent was to improve the relationship between employees and supervisors in the office, which was somewhat unstable at the time.

She also  wanted the opportunity to show appreciation for her own boss – her father.

The holiday became a national holiday in the U.S. in 1962 and is now recognized annually.

And Hallmark produced the first Boss’s Day greeting card in 1979.

Despite being an official holiday, it is not a public one.   In other words, businesses, banks, and government offices usually operate as normal on Boss’s Day.


Boss’s Day Celebration Ideas

In your current role, you likely find yourself in the unique position of both having a boss and being someone’s boss.

So this holiday can be a great one for you or somewhat overwhelming.

When it comes to office parties and celebrations, it is important to remain cognizant of the perceived power differential between an employee and whomever they report to, including you.

It’s also important to recognize that your organization may have an internal policy on celebrations and/or gift giving.

So whatever you decide to do with your team or for your boss, it should adhere to those guidelines and align with your organization’s customs.

Since the purpose of the holiday is to demonstrate appreciation for your boss, here are a few simple but meaningful ideas for you to consider:

1.Send a quick email or thank you note.

Make sure you specifically highlight what you appreciate most about your boss so that it is more personal and impactful

2.Send a card with a low cost gift or token memento.

(ie. Gift card, balloons/flowers, lunch delivery, coffee mug, etc.)

3.Give a group gift.

You can minimize all perceptions of differential treatment by joining forces with your peers to pitch in for a small gift for your boss

4.Make a video.

Compile a video of colleagues saying what they appreciate most about your boss.

5.Compliment your manager in a group setting,  meeting or huddle.

Sometimes a formal gift is not necessary- instead you can take a moment to give your boss a compliment or announce that it is Boss’ Day during a meeting and ask for a round of applause in acknowledgement.

6.Write a spotlight article on the company’s intranet.
7.Plan a lunch or after work event.



Final Thoughts.

No matter what you choose to do for your boss, remember that the objective is to make sure they know they are appreciated.

So, it is ok to keep it low key as long as that message is emphasized.

And let me be the first to wish you a very, very happy and well deserved Boss’s Day 2021!


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