How to celebrate your staff in 2018

22 January, 2018 by
Ken Burgin

It’s easy to get bogged down in staff shortages and wage costs. But look around at your hard-working team. Most of the time, it’s a happy, noisy and hard-working family who deserve some special thanks. Use these two upcoming occasions to share some love.

International Women’s Day


International Women’s Day is on Thursday 8 March and is a great opportunity to celebrate staff and customers.


  • Make it a week not just a day, and highlight the women who work for you. Focus on those you have worked with for a while and how they’ve developed. Share photos and stories on Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms.
  • Talk about women who inspire your staff. Kate might be inspired by Kylie Kwong or another successful chef. You get the idea — post the Facebook with a small picture of the staff member or their hero.
  • Support a women’s cause for the week such as a local women’s shelter or an overseas project. You’ll find the information you need to write about it on their websites.
  • Share a food angle and feature recipes from mothers and grandmothers. Nanna food is always popular.
  • Hold a special dinner or event. Work with local community groups and give them a chance to raise funds by selling tickets. Organise a speaker and showcase the work of your female chefs with pictures in a Facebook album the next day. Start something regular.

Harmony Day

Harmony Day is on Wednesday 21 March and celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. Hospitality is uniquely placed to celebrate this event — we employ and depend on people from an array of countries. With a world in conflict, let’s promote the people who are the foundation of our business success.

  • Take lots of team photos — staff working, group shots, setting up, cooking and serving. Have prints made for people to keep.
  • When you share photos on social media, take a few with people holding up a Harmony Day 2018 sign. Use the #harmonyday2018 hashtag so others see your posts on Instagram and Twitter
  • Make an extra feature of the kitchen — it’s often like the United Nations and sometimes forgotten because they work behind the scenes. People are always fascinated by how kitchens work and the life of a chef.
  • Tell some team stories about the chef from Bali, the Irish manager or the apprentice from Iran. It just needs a photo and a few sentences about when they came to Australia, where they trained and what they like about hospitality.
  • Promote the event internally by sharing food, family photos and stories.
  • Tell the local paper about your great team with a tie-in to Harmony Day. Talk about your business representing the face of modern Australia, with people from — for example — 12 nationalities serving more than 1500 customers every week.
  • Use the customisable posters and resources on the official Harmony Day website.

Don’t forget there’s also a serious side to workforce diversity. Be aware of the stress many staff are under with immigration and visas. These processes are lengthy, complicated and expensive — this is a time to add extra support.