Overview – Significant days

Significant days are those that are important in the context of the organisation’s history, operations or values system, its employee and affiliate groups, or the community and society in which it operates. Significant days include important dates for:
The organisation’s timeline, including its Founding Day.
The operational calendar, particularly employee-related dates such as the allocation of performance-based shares or the performance appraisal cycle.
The community in which the organisation operates.

Significant days provide leaders with opportunities to give greater meaning to the organisation’s key differentiators and/or values through correlation with the attributes that those days represent. For example, an organisational value such as ‘Excellence’ could be specifically celebrated on the day one of the organisation’s heroes demonstrated excellence through their actions, thereby bringing to life what excellence means.

Grey TickThis tactic is useful for:


Acknowledging and celebrating the traits on which the organisation was founded.
Reinforcing key organisational differentiators.
Giving meaning to the organisation’s core values.
Showing respect for the community in which the organisation operates.
Highlighting important operational dates.

cloudyThings to consider:


Determine all the organisation’s historic, cultural and operational significant days.
Mine historical data to provide ‘stories’ exemplifying the traits on which the firm was founded.
Use Google to source dates of people and events you can link to the organisation’s values. For example, if ‘Innovation’ is a value, your communications (via your blog, etc.) on March 14th could acknowledge that “today is Einstein’s birthday so it’s timely to consider what Innovation means to us, and the benefits it brings. Like Einstein, we…”.
Celebrate significant days in a variety of ways. For example, the organisation’s anniversary can be recognised by inviting employees’ families to the workplace. The visit can be followed by a barbecue and presentation to celebrate the occasion. Family visits can also be organised on the six-month anniversary of an employee joining the organisation.
Note all significant days on the leader’s communications calendar and develop your program accordingly.

Tone BulbHelpful tip:


Use significant days as a creative way to reinforce your key messages. For example:
New Year: “a time to celebrate our achievements of the past year and set priorities for the year ahead”.
Founding Day: “a time to reflect on the beliefs and values that are the cornerstones on which our organisation is founded”.
World Environment Day (5th June): “a time to take stock of our impact on the environment”.
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