7 ways to recognize your boss on National Boss Day.

Husain Sumra profile image October 7, 2021 | 5 min read

National Boss Day is coming up on October 15, 2021, and it is a great time to show appreciation to your boss, manager or supervisor. The tradition of National Boss Day dates back to 1958 when Patricia Bays Haroski, an employee at State Farm Insurance Company, wanted to recognize her boss. Initially, National Boss Day was held on October 16 because that was the birthday of Haroski’s boss. Today, it is celebrated on October 16 or the closest workday.

Ways to show appreciation to your boss.

Check out the tips below and see which ideas appeal to you.

1. Send a thoughtful card to your boss.

You can express appreciation by sending a card to your boss. For example, Hallmark offers multiple types of boss appreciation cards. You can also write your thoughts on a blank notecard.

If you are not sure what to write on the card, think of something specific you can thank your boss for. For example, some executives are planning to increase investments in tools for virtual collaboration to support remote work during the pandemic. If you have experienced that type of support, consider expressing your appreciation for that.

2. Thank your boss for a bonus.

Your boss may have played a role in getting a bonus approved for you. If you received a bonus from your company, consider thanking your boss. Failing to express your appreciation may be perceived negatively, so take a few minutes to be grateful.

3. Nominate your boss for an award.

There are many business awards available for executives and managers. If you feel your boss has been exceptionally effective, consider nominating your boss for an award. To inspire you, here are some examples of business awards:

  • Professional or industry-specific awards. The European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics welcomes nominations for the best manager in the field of statistics. In addition, there are local awards like the Bay Area CFO of the Year Awards for CFOs in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award. EY accepts nominations for its annual Entrepreneur Award. The EY award might be relevant if your boss is also an entrepreneur.
  • Food Industry Association (FMI). The FMI annually accepts nominations for the best store managers in the food industry.

4. Recognize your boss on LinkedIn.

Check to see if your boss is on LinkedIn by searching for them by name and company using the LinkedIn search bar. You can recognize your boss in a few different ways on LinkedIn.

  • Use LinkedIn Kudos. You can write a short message with Kudos using the LinkedIn mobile app. For example, you might use the “Outside the Box Thinker” kudos to recognize your boss’s creative thinking.
  • Write a LinkedIn recommendation. You can write a recommendation for your boss on LinkedIn. Your boss can then choose whether or not to display the recommendation. In general, it is best to keep your recommendation brief (i.e., about two to three short paragraphs).

If you and your boss have not interacted much on LinkedIn before, it might be wise to ask them before posting about them on LinkedIn.

5. Give your boss a small gift related to their interests.

If you know your boss well, you might consider giving them a small gift related to their interests. For example, giving a set of tennis balls to a tennis-loving boss might be a good idea. Alternatively, you might send your boss a copy of a new book by their favorite author if they have a passion for reading.

Some people may not feel comfortable giving gifts to their boss because their boss may have more money or power than the employee. Therefore, be considerate when asking others to contribute money to a gift.

Before buying a gift for your boss, give some thought to a few questions. First, ask yourself how well you understand your boss’s interests (e.g., can you name at least two things your boss likes to do outside of work). Second, consider how much you can afford to spend on a gift. If you have no room in your budget and do not know your boss well, sending a thank-you card might be a better idea.

Tip: As a general rule of thumb, consider spending between $10 to $25 on a gift for your boss. As an alternative, you might want to ask coworkers to contribute to a group gift to your boss.

6. Create a thank-you video for your boss

Recording a video for your boss is another way to show your appreciation. For instance, you could ask your colleagues to record short videos with their phones recognizing your boss, edit the video together and upload it to YouTube as a private video. 

You can use websites to record video through a laptop’s webcam as an alternative to using smartphones. There are several websites like Loom and Webcamera.io that make it easy to record a video from your computer.

7. Organize a happy hour in your boss’s honor.

Going out for drinks or going to a restaurant to recognize your boss may not be an option due to the COVID pandemic. As an alternative, organize a virtual happy hour using video conferencing. You can use delivery apps like UberEats or DoorDash to send a treat to your boss during the event if you have their address.

Note that some bosses might not be interested in a social event. Ask yourself if your boss has previously organized or attended happy hour events at work and enjoyed them. If so, go ahead with the plan. In the invitation, make it clear that alcohol is completely optional and everyone is welcome.

Showing gratitude to others can be good for you.

Taking the time to show appreciation to your boss might also be good for you. In a study conducted by Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, participants were asked to write a letter of gratitude to someone they had never properly thanked before. After delivering the letter, participants reported higher happiness scores. Recognizing your boss with a letter or message might just make you feel happier.

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