Many organizations misunderstand and/or underestimate the power of meaningful celebrations in engaging high performance. They think it is a waste of work time. So, they rarely celebrate internally and just keep pushing toward the next goal, objective, or deadline. But, by minimizing and/or not celebrating important accomplishments, significant events, and/or honoring groups and individuals -- they miss opportunities to inspire, reinforce, signify, praise, and create greater inclusiveness. Lack of simple, meaningful celebration can lead to de-motivation, resistance to change, and disengagement.
Here are six questions I ask my clients to consider. Are leaders in your organization:
- Overlooking extra effort employees make through challenging economic times?
- Forgetting key milestone accomplishments and just driving toward the end result?
- Ignoring significant change and related stress employees go through when new initiatives are launched; technology is replaced; processes change; or cost cutting continues?
- Savoring success for seconds and then spending most of the time talking about “challenges, headwinds, and missed opportunities”?
- Neglecting to acknowledge all the small things done consistently well every day?
- Disregarding the need of people to feel visible and appreciated internally but actively practicing this with external customers and business partners?
Celebration in our organization is ‘more’:
- Frequent or Infrequent
- Timely or Untimely
- Specific or General
- Genuine or Scripted
- Eagerly or Reluctantly Attended
- Inclusive or Exclusive
- Inspiring or Unexciting
- Boundary Breaking or Boundary Making (between groups with the organization)
- Sincere and genuine
- Reinforce what really matters
- Inspire others to replicate or duplicate
- Motivate employees toward the next goal
- Breakdown some invisible barriers between employees separated by functional boundaries
- Remind employees they are working for a winner