Celebrating success:  How To Help Your Organization Celebrate Success

Work as we know it is changing. Since the pandemic, more and more companies have been switching to a hybrid or fully remote model.   

While there are many advantages to both companies and employees in these new models, there are elements of the traditional workplace that can’t be forgotten.   

One of the most important parts for your employees? Celebrating success.  

When we’re in the office together, it can be easier to celebrate moments, milestones, and achievements. As we become more distant, some of those moments can slip away.  

Consider these statistics from a report by the American Psychological Association:   

  • More than ⅓ of those surveyed had received no recognition in the previous year  
  • Less than half said that recognition was provided fairly  
  • Only half said that they felt valued by their employer  

With more companies spending time away from the office, employees have more opportunities to find the right company for them. That means they may ultimately end up choosing a company that they feel more valued by.  

Fortunately, letting your employees know how they are valued and celebrating their success are both achievable. Today, we’ll share the fundamentals of celebrating success, as well as a few ways you can express your appreciation for your team – and for yourself – today.  

What is celebrating success?  

Celebrating success is the act of taking a moment to acknowledge an achievement.  

In fast-paced, driven firms, it can be difficult to take that pause, however. Instead of recognizing how far a team has come or how hard they’ve worked, those teams are off and running after the next goal. While that relentless pace may lead to wins in the short term, it may not be sustainable over the long term.  

Why would you celebrate success? 

When achievements are celebrated in a thoughtful and meaningful way, you will likely see an increase in confidence and motivation that leads to happier teams.  

On the contrary, when you neglect to comment on your staff’s professional achievements – or if you do it in a way that feels forced or insincere, that confidence and motivation can decrease.   

Here are a few tangible reasons for celebrating success:  

  • Set yourself up for future success – When you take a moment to look back at a well-executed project or a strong quarter, you’re doing more than patting your team on their backs. You’re sharing an analysis of what went well so you can repeat that for future accomplishments.  
  • See how far you’ve come – When we don’t take moments to look back, on both a personal and professional level, it can feel like we are endlessly striving for something but never quite achieving it. That constant pushing can end up leaving us dissatisfied.  

Similarly, when we celebrate successes, we realize that we are on a journey. Each accomplishment is a milestone. This better sets us up to handle the setbacks that are inevitable, because we’ll know that those, too, are just moments that are a part of our journey as a team.  

Ways to celebrate success 

Before you can start to plan for celebrating success, it’s important to define what success looks like. Waiting until the last minute, waiting until you feel that you have a break, or waiting until an employee reports being unhappy are all ways *not* to celebrate success. They will lead to disappointment and disengagement.  

On an organizational level, these are some of the ways you can celebrate your team’s success:  

  • Include the team – When a milestone is reached, find a way to highlight the contributions of each team member in an equal way. This will help people feel valued. 
  • Make it meaningful – Consider who you are celebrating and how they’d like to be celebrated. An extrovert might like to be the center of attention, while an introvert might prefer you to give them a call of appreciation.  

It’s also important to develop your own criteria as an individual. From the professional perspective, you may not always be in a place that is as expressive as you’d like.   

In your own life, learning to reward yourself on your own journey is equally important. Here are a few ways:  

  • Reflect on your journey – You can do this by picking a certain timeframe. See what you’ve accomplished since the last check-in (like how many books you’ve read or how many days you’ve exercised). 
  • Do something you enjoy – Your reward for success doesn’t have to just be more work. Block out an afternoon to enjoy a movie or treat yourself to a nice dinner.   

As our teams grow and evolve and our own styles of work change with them, learning and practicing how to celebrate success is increasingly important.