A company’s full potential can’t be reached unless all team members are growing individually and collectively. That’s why regularly celebrating your employees’ accomplishments to highlight the “wins” that bring pride, enthusiasm, and positivity to your workplace is so important.
How much time do you spend getting over the bumps and bruises that come along with almost any project? Probably a lot.
As leaders, we often get stuck on the “red” or “yellow” aspects of the task at hand. Even when things are beautifully flashing “green,” we tend to take them for granted or divert our attention back to our challenges.
Don’t make that mistake. Failing to acknowledge what’s working well sends a message to employees that you’re never satisfied, and this can lead to a spiral of discouragement and apathy.
Instead, flip that equation, and focus on the people who will make your business a success.
Having built and sold several companies (some for more than seven figures), I know firsthand how morale is boosted when a company celebrates its wins. It signals that you care not only about your employees, but also about the effort they’re putting forth.
Who doesn’t want to be recognized for their contributions?
You don’t have to make elaborate plans to get your point across. For instance, a co-worker and I were putting in late nights before a recent campaign launch. Finally, the day came when we could hit “send” and call it a wrap. Sure, the next project immediately emerged, but guess what we did instead of diving into it?
We closed our laptops and went to a movie. We had a fantastic time unplugging and relishing our win. Celebrating energized us and inspired us to tackle our next big project.
Creating Positive Outcomes
Here are five ways you can inject more drive, passion, and energy into your company:
Mark ‘celebration’ on your agenda.
Set aside time in your daily or weekly staff huddles for individuals to share personal or professional wins. You might hear “We closed the Johnson deal!” “I finished my first marathon!” or “My sister had a healthy baby girl!” Encourage everyone to participate, welcome all comments, and seriously applaud.
Share the master plan.
Staff members at all levels should understand why their jobs matter and how they fit into the big picture. Sharing this knowledge creates a strong feeling of togetherness and helps employees bring a real sense of purpose to the work they perform. Rather than feel like a cog in a machine, team members come to know how integral their piece in the overall puzzle really is. And this realization often inspires even greater dedication and determination.
Create a culture of support outside of the workplace.
Everyone responds well to care and compassion, so consider rewarding great performers with a day off to spend with their families. Offering this simple perk shows that you grasp the real importance of work-life balance. Setting clear metrics that team members can aim to meet in order to receive such a reward provides a good incentive, but you can always decide based on your personal observations, too.
Add the “wow” factor.
Anybody can put together a cliché pizza party in the company lunchroom. But how about throwing a pizza party poolside at a hip new joint in town instead? Now, that’s a celebration everyone will appreciate and remember.
Salute the little wins.
Celebrating mini-benchmarks as they’re reached also validates your company’s progress. Maybe you’ve gained another 100 followers on Twitter through a new social media initiative. Even if it’s via a group cheer or a mass email, recognize the fact that you’re heading in the right direction, and give thanks to everyone involved.
As psychologist Shawn Achor says in his TED Talk, happiness inspires productivity in the workplace. When you actively support people, you’re helping them uncover deeply positive emotions, which translate into optimistic smiles that teammates carry throughout their day.
It all comes down to this: Everyone wants to be acknowledged and praised for a job well done. Aside from spurring them on to bigger and better accomplishments, watching employees respond to celebrations in ways that lead to positive outcomes for your venture feels great.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Rick Martinez is the CEO and founder of ProjectBINK, a community and platform that guides people to purpose-driven happiness. He formerly served in the U.S. Army, worked as a registered nurse, and founded several successful businesses, including a medical staffing firm that grew to 600 employees and $50 million in annual revenue. Connect with @ProjectBINK on Twitter.
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