At this time of year, business people start to do a mental accounting of how the year has gone. For most, there is always a mix of good things coupled with events and situations that were clearly less positive. Sometimes, the more negative occurrences “stand out” and can even overshadow all that was positive. It’s a sad thing indeed when you can’t quite put your finger on the very real successes but failures come right to mind.
It makes good sense to “celebrate” the successes, be they big or small and to do so as they occur. When you reward successes, and not just the humongous “wins” that can change the trajectory of the company. When you celebrate the smaller accomplishments, you are encouraging employees to take pride in their work and strive more vigorously to accomplish even more.
When you don’t acknowledge and reward success, employees can get discouraged and feel as if they are being taken for granted. They may adopt a “why bother” mindset that can certainly impact their productivity and desire to work hard and contribute more. Without encouragement to do so, they may even feel it is senseless to go the extra mile.
Celebrating successes should be part of your corporate culture and it is actually quite easy to get started.
Provide Verbal Acknowledgement
While this simple step seems quite straightforward, it is interesting how successes, especially the small ones, are overlooked and remain unacknowledged. Consider this, when you embark on a diet, the pounds come off quickly at first and then progress slows down as your body adjusts to your new eating and exercise routine. Initially, people remark on the weight loss and it’s exciting and encouraging to receive the recognition but once things start to move a little slower, the positive comments and encouragement becomes less and less frequent; your self-discipline may start to suffer.
Saying thank you or you did a fantastic job goes a long way to boosting an employee’s self-esteem and feelings of self-worth and will help to make them want to contribute more in the future. They feel “recognized” and the recognition goes a long way to stimulating great work.
Send a Hand-Written Note
Nothing beats getting a handwritten note card that expresses appreciation for a job well done. Yes, email is faster and requires less discipline, but the impact of a handwritten note goes far beyond what email can communicate. Email disappears within hours with the flow of incoming messages; a handwritten note can be retained and pinned up on a bulletin board to be remembered and for all to see.
This is my favorite form of expressing appreciation to staff and clients a like! I still have a note that one of my Client’s sent me in 2010!
Organize a Celebration
Since everyone likes a party, consider organizing a celebration that recognizes an individual, a department or perhaps even the whole company for work well done. The celebration can run the gamut from breakfast or lunch in the company cafeteria or break room, to a more elaborate event in a restaurant. The type of celebration should reflect your corporate culture and be appropriate for the person/s being acknowledged.
Give a Bonus
While bonuses are usually distributed at the end of the year and may even come to be “expected,” a spontaneous bonus for a work success will resonate loudly. While money is always a motivator, a bonus for a success can also be paid time off, tickets to the theater or a sports event, gift certificates, an all-expenses paid vacation, and more. Use your imagination and once again, make certain that the bonus is in sync with the recipient’s lifestyle.
Most importantly, as you begin to celebrate both big and small successes on a regular basis you will start to see motivated and engaged employees working hard to accomplish more for the good of the company. It’s a win-win for everybody!