Did you know that no one truly knows who first proposed the idea for Labor Day, or that a strike helped to establish Labor Day as a federal holiday? An expert in staffing and workforce management, Roth Staffing Companies, is happy to share the history about Labor Day and why it’s relevant to your workforce today… 120 years after establishment!
The first inklings of Labor Day
Although President Grover Cleveland established Labor Day as a federal holiday, he didn’t conceive of the idea. According to Time Magazine, the credit goes to either a carpenter named Peter McGuire or a machinist named Matthew Maguire. The two men’s similar surnames caused some mystery around the origins of Labor Day, but it’s said that Peter McGuire probably mobilized the New York Central Labor Union into celebrating New York City workers with a large parade.
A strike that led to a federal holiday
When the American Railway Union went on strike against the Pullman Palace Car Company for diminished wages, President Cleveland ordered the military to forcefully end the strike. After several people lost their lives in the battle, President Cleveland wanted to turn the tide on the negative publicity. He wrote Labor Day into the calendar right after the strike ended in 1894.
What Labor Day means for your workforce
Since its inception, Labor Day has focused on the rights of workers and the importance of establishing positive working conditions. Although the workforce looks very different now than in 1894, protecting and respecting the American worker continues to be a top priority for organizations like Roth Staffing Companies who deal with thousands of employees and Ambassadors (the temporary employees who represent Roth Staffing) on a daily basis.
We know that you probably share our thoughts—that nothing is more important than treating people with the dignity and respect they deserve… and the steps toward this include ensuring that employees are receiving recognition and working in an environment of open communication. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it’s also the best way to ensure that employees are engaged and passionate about fulfilling business goals!
According to Roth Staffing’s research, 82% of top performers at companies recognized for being a ‘Best Place to Work’ say they’re recognized/praised when they do a good job, versus only 7% of employees at all companies. Using recognition to build meaningful and respectful workplace relationships goes hand in hand with creating a culture of abundant communication; 99% of senior leaders at Top Workplaces hold small/intimate group gatherings with employees at least quarterly, and 57% of non-managers at “Best Employer” companies participate in the creation or implementation of a new workplace policy or program.
This Labor Day, ensure that your workforce feels respected and appreciated by focusing on recognition and communication, and watch your workforce flourish!