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Celebrating Business Wins

Over the holidays I received the cookbook, How to Celebrate Everything, in which author Jenny Rosenstrach describes her family’s sweet traditions to not just celebrate birthdays and holidays, but even small everyday rituals. It made me think about how businesses need to celebrate wins, both small and large, a whole lot more.

I couldn’t help but think about how little I’ve celebrated the milestones of starting Match Point.

Back when I worked at a large advertising agency, we celebrated everything. We celebrated Fridays with a movie lunch. We celebrated personal milestones with drinks out. And new business wins got the mother of all celebrations – the all agency lobby party. Good times my friends.

Many businesses, especially creative businesses, may still rock their celebrations. But for most companies, budgets are tight and resources are thin. Who has time for celebrating and what budget code would that even go to?

While it may be tempting to send out an e-mail congratulating the staff on a job well done, I’m here to say it’s not enough. Leaders, I’m looking at you. Your employees need to celebrate these wins and you need to take the reigns. The recognition will motivate them to continue to do good work, the pause in their workday will contribute to balance, and the gathering will promote employee camaraderie. It’s all in your company, department or division’s best interest. And the really cool thing you’ll see is that when leaders create a celebrating culture, everyone will soon take a part.

Celebrations don’t need to involve Veuve Clicquot, however disappointing that may sound. Here are a few other ideas to celebrate wins both big and small:

·      Bring in a big sheet cake personalized with the business success written across the top. Gather the troops and don’t forget the ice cream.

·      Encourage employees to leave an hour early due to all their hard work. An extra hour to be with family or to spend time outdoors before it gets dark can be such a luxury. Be sure to tie this to something specific that the team did well.

·      If it’s a smaller group or you have the budget, take the team out for a festive lunch or happy hour. Trust me, it’s always appreciated.

·      Fill the office space with balloons and signs congratulating the team or individual. It may sound a little silly but silly can be really necessary during an 8-hour workday. Donuts for all can’t hurt this effort.

·      Get the team together. Stand up and say ‘great job’ and ‘thank you.’ It may seem simple and small – and it is. But it’s a critical act that’s often forgotten.

·      When it doubt, high fives all around.

Off to buy confetti. How does your organization celebrate?