Celebrate Even Small Wins

Some managers do a pretty good job of giving recognition when something really big happens. You know what I mean—when someone comes up with a million dollar idea or makes a big sale. Sure, then it’s easy to get everyone together to celebrate! But, what about the smaller successes—do you take the time to celebrate them?

Let’s say your team meets a significant deadline or milestone. Why not take some time to celebrate that to encourage them to keep going. Big wins are rare so it those are the only ones you recognize, you’re probably missing some great opportunities to recognize and reward success.

Be sure to celebrate in a timely manner—as soon as possible to maximize the impact of the event or goal being met. When you plan the event, take some time to make note of everyone who should be included when you make your speech. We’ve all seen the fall out when a key player’s name isn’t read—something like that can negate the recognition event! And, please don’t just decide to thank the department head or team leader and leave out the others who contributed! Thank everyone who contributed!

We strongly encourage you to develop a culture of recognition. We’re not suggesting that you make it so commonplace that it loses its significance but make it part of your culture to recognize successes and to reward good performance. You may want to create some sort of special memento that is given to teams who succeed. It can be something fun or something serious. I’ve heard of organizations that have a rubber chicken that is passed from team to team and proudly displayed when won while others hand out trophies. It doesn’t really matter what it is—just make sure you are fair and consistent when handing out rewards and recognition. Don’t overlook the power of a handwritten note from the CEO to thank each team member—those will be treasured and displayed for a long time to come!

Remember, the small wins are important so take time to celebrate when they happen!

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