Photo: Natalie Maynor @ flickr (CC-BY)
I just finished reading a blog post by Lisette Sutherland where she talks about celebrating success. Important because, in her words, it ‘acknowledged an important milestone and gave us a chance to assess the work that was done’. She compares celebrating success with climbing a mountain. Looking forward it seems endless, but if you every now and then take the time to look behind you, you realize the long way you’ve already came.
A strong mixture
The reason she and her colleague where celebrating was that they finished a major section of the workbook about online community engagement they’re writing together. An intense process that was a mixture of wrestling with words, making complicated decisions, boredom, fun, and, in the end, feeling extremely proud. A thing well worth celebrating indeed and since Lisette works in the Netherlands and her colleague Gretchen in California, they came up with the idea of virtual pie. They agreed on a time, started up Skype and ate their pie together while wearing hats for ‘extra celebratory effect’. (See the picture here, it’s fun!)
On her blog Lisette tells us more about the importance of celebration. She takes it a step further by saying celebrating success not only increases moral, but that lack of showing your appreciation can very well get moral down.
“A lack of appreciation from leaders can make employees feel resentful and used. Being appreciated for insignificant contributions or things that are not of value to the employee causes the same feeling.” – The Globe and Mail
But there’s even more to it. If you promote things like talent, knowledge and skills and give it the attention they deserve, not only the workers gain prestige, but the organization as well.
Keep it simple
Celebrating doesn’t have to cost a lot of money Lisette tells us. Just like rewarding, celebrating shouldn’t apply to extrinsic motivators, but to intrinsic motivators instead. It’s the gesture that counts, and nothing works better than an honest ‘Thanks, you did a great job’. Of course, you can add something to emphasize that. Lisette once took the team out to dinner and gave everyone a plant. Which had some unintentional benefits since, and I quote, ‘they made our office space more beautiful, and they served as a subtle reminder of the good time we had working together’.
Well, I will certainly remember it as well!
Love and keep up the good work,