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Corporate Wellbeing Employee Engagement Employee Experience Employee Wellbeing Best Practices

5 Ways to Engage Your People in Q1: Black History Month, Women’s History Month, International Transgender Day of Visibility & More 

Start the new year strong with actionable tips and ideas to engage your workforce around important awareness days and months from our 2023 Wellbeing Calendar. Here are 5 ways you can make an impact in quarter one. 

1. Energize your remote teams with music during Black History Month (February) 

According to the 2022 State of the Workforce Report by Gallup, only 21% of workers are engaged at work. This means that leaders and managers have to get creative.  

Research shows that music can reduce stress and increase motivation, something our Sales Development Team at Virgin Pulse has experienced firsthand. Hear what two members of the team had to say: 

“The SDR team shares music with each other all the time to not only stay connected on the days that we aren’t in the office and for those who work fully remote, but also to pump each other up and keep team morale high (who doesn’t love a good jam during the workday?). This started with what we call Friday Feel Goods – (we have a Teams chat dedicated to it) and we start our Fridays by sharing songs to keep the motivation high and to celebrate our successes at the end of each week.”  

Stephen Lambert, Manager, Sales Development 

“What wakes you up each Friday after a long week? For our SDR/SSA team it’s our Friday Feel Goods! It helps us connect with one another to then be able then to pass along that positive energy with our weekly calls. The energy we give is what we will receive in return from our prospects!”  

Kristina Cook, Sales Development Representative 

With Black History Month coming up in February, it’s a great time to lean into the power of music while recognizing and honoring the rich voices of the Black community. Leverage Spotify’s Black History Month Mix or involve your employees to create their own playlist to share with the broader company and play at the start of meetings. 

2. Close gaps in care for World Cancer Day (February 4) 

1 in 3 Americans put off care due to the pandemic. In a recent Business Group on Health survey, employers said delayed care has resulted in long-term mental health issues, increased medical services, and higher chronic condition management. The survey also revealed that cancer is now the top cost and healthcare trend driver. 

In advance of World Cancer Day on February 4th, think of creative and personal ways to re-engage your population to close critical gaps, whether it’s utilizing targeted multi-channel campaigns to educate about cancer risk or incentivizing the completion of preventative screenings with rewards. 

Plus, join Brenna Shebel, Business Group on Health, and Dr. Marc Shuman, MORE Health, on Tuesday, January 31st at 1 pm ET/10 am PT to learn more about Delayed Care & Cancer – Challenges and Strategies for HR Leaders. 

3. Engage your ERGs to amplify World Day of Social Justice (February 20) & International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31) 

95% of Virgin Pulse employees feel a greater sense of belonging after participating in an employee resource group (ERG) program. Not only do ERGs encourage employees to share similar interests, backgrounds, or cultures, but they are also a key retention and engagement tool that benefits the entire organization.  

On International ERG Day last year, our CEO Chris Michalak recognized leaders from our own ERGs who have gone above and beyond their role to be a symbol of what the employee experience here at Virgin Pulse is all about. 

Tune into the expertise of your own ERGs and collaborate with leaders to amplify World Day of Social Justice on February 20th and International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31st. You can build a resource page, host a webinar, Q&A discussion, or coffee chat, or create a video compilation to explore personal employee insights and stories. 

4. Communicate benefits before heading into Women’s History Month (March) 

35% of employees and 44% of Generation Z employees reported that their employers’ benefits communications are hard to understand. Coupled with the fact that only 12% of the population feels they have sufficient literacy to navigate the healthcare landscape, it’s time to seek out new and innovative ideas to communicate your benefits and help your workforce make better, lower-cost choices for their health. 

Prior to Women’s History Month this March, take time to improve your benefits communication strategy. If you offer benefits around fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, caregiving, childcare, menopause, or more to support women, highlight them now.  

Start with these 7 questions you should ask to keep your benefits at the forefront and your organization thriving as you navigate the year ahead. –  

5. Celebrate your people on National Employee Appreciation Day (First Friday in March) 

Employees who receive recognition are 4x as likely to be engaged at work. Although it’s important year-round, Employee Appreciation Day on March 3rd is a timely opportunity to go all in and celebrate your employees’ achievements both in and out of the workplace. 

Compile a collage or video of employees spending time with family, volunteering, reaching their goals, prioritizing their wellbeing – anything big or small that gives them energy – and include it in your next internal newsletter.  

It’s also a great time to roll out new ongoing employee recognition initiatives. For example, we highlight employees who reach work milestones each month on social media and give them a special shoutout on our internal communication channel. On a peer-level, we’re constantly giving and receiving feel-good shout-outs through our Virgin Pulse platform.  

Additional Q1 Awareness Dates: 


  • 1: Happy New Year!  
  • 4: World Braille Day
  • 9: National Clean Your Dest Day
  • 14: Organize Your Home Day 
  • 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day 
  • 22: Lunar New Year 


  • American Heart Month  
  • Black History Month 
  • 2: Groundhog Day 
  • 4: World Cancer Day 
  • 14: Valentine’s Day 
  • 17: Random Acts of Kindness Day 
  • 20: World Day of Social Justice 
  • 20: President’s Day 
  • 28: Rare Disease Day  


  • Women’s History Month 
  • National Nutrition Month 
  • 3: National Employee Appreciation Day 
  • 4: Brain Injury Awareness Day 
  • 8: Holi 
  • 8: International Women’s Day 
  • 12: Daylight Saving Time 
  • 17: World Sleep Day 
  • 20: International Day of Happiness 
  • 20: First Day of Spring 
  • 28: Diabetes Alert Day 
  • 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility 

Download the full 2023 Wellbeing Calendar here: