National Boss/Employee Exchange Day
the second Monday in September
A.C. Vierow (of Clio, MI)
Communication is one of the main keys to a successful business, and it is central to today's holiday. National Boss/Employee Exchange Day exists "to help bosses and employees appreciate each other by sharing each other's point of view for a day." The day can be looked at in a few ways. It can be a day where bosses and employees exchange ideas, or it can be a day where they literally exchange jobs and reverse roles for the day. Sometimes the former is easier to accomplish than the latter because a boss can't exchange roles with all of their employees.
No matter which way the day is celebrated, it is for listening and learning. It is for getting a better understanding of what the other person does, what their responsibilities are, and what challenges they face each day. When bosses better understand what their employees do each day, they will be more in tune with what their employees need to be successful. Similarly, employees will be better able to understand the responsibilities of their boss, and better grasp the perspectives their bosses have.
How to Observe
Today should be celebrated with the exchanging of ideas and points of view between bosses and employees. One way to do this is by bosses taking the time to listen to the ideas of their employees, and by employees effectively communicating with their bosses. If you are a boss, have an open-door time, make sure to read your emails, and have a suggestion box. Listen to all of the comments, concerns, and criticisms that your employees bring to you. Reflect on what you can improve on, and what you can do to boost the morale of your employees. Make yourself approachable and offer feedback. If you are an employee, make sure to bring all your thoughts and concerns to your boss.
Another way for bosses and employees to exchange ideas today is for them to actually switch roles for it. If you are a boss, become the employee; if you are an employee, take on the role of the boss. When celebrating the day in this way, it is good to communicate and plan before it. Discuss with each other what you hope to get out of the day—what your goals and expectations are. Brief each other on how to make the day run smoothly, with the intent of having the day be a learning experience.