Why Emerging Leaders Should Celebrate Every Team Success

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So 2016 is nearly over. Everyone’s prepared for the holiday season.

Maybe you took the team for a well-deserved lunch? Maybe you had a few drinks to celebrate your employees’ successes?

Maybe you haven’t done anything special…

A little celebration can go a long way when it comes to motivating a team. For instance, when I asked our main Executives to join our weekly team meeting, and praise the team’s outstanding efforts, everyone was fired-up for months.

If you’re still wondering if merrymaking can really impact your team’s performance, here’s why you should celebrate every team success.

A little celebration goes a long way when it comes to team motivation.CLICK TO TWEET

Celebrate success to strengthen team bonds

A celebration is about getting people together for a special purpose. Even though people communicate at work all year long, few really take the time to connect. If you had to hire in panic mode, it might be time to focus on relations.

Strong relationships are the #1 element in the foundation of a cohesive group. Throwing a little party, bringing a cake in or just having a few drinks can create a positive environment for the team members. It opens the door to more relaxed conversations.

Festive moments give people a way to deepen their relationships outside of work boundaries. They improve the sense of connection between team members.

People communicate at work all year long, but few take the time to connect.CLICK TO TWEET

Celebrate team success to make people feel valued

Did you know the #1 reason why people are unhappy in the office isn’t money? It’s feeling undervalued. It stems from managers who can’t pause to acknowledge contribution, encourage progress, help with development…

The adverse effects of disengagement are devastating; low performance and attrition are pricey in terms of cost and lost productivity.

Celebrating team successes is a public acknowledgement of value. A festive tone to the end of a difficult project, or putting each individual under the spotlight for their unique contribution is direct recognition. And this is a strong leadership message, too. It shows you value individual differences.

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Celebrate team success to build trust and loyalty

When team members feel valued, their sense of individual and collective trust increases. And what follows? Loyalty.

I was watching the (excellent) series Gomorrah the other night (it’s set in the suburbs of Naples, focusing on organised crime and the relationships of gangsters, drug dealers, and less ordinary people). Throughout the story, it’s clear that the minute trust is lost, loyalty goes away.

I’m sure your team is not involved in such extreme business! But there’s a good lesson to learn. If you have to work at the edges, you need to make sure everyone stays on board during the hard times.

Ensuring each success is acknowledged reinforces trust between teams and their leaders, and creates a sense of loyalty.

If you have to work at the edges, make sure everyone stays on board during the hard times.CLICK TO TWEET

Celebrate team success to build a culture of achievement

It seems like stating the obvious, but the exact fact that you’re celebrating team successes shows you value achievement. How many initiatives in the workplace are dropped mid-way through? How many employees complain because they’re asked to start something, and then another task takes priority?

Everyone likes the satisfaction of a job well done. One of the best success factors you can give a team is to establish “getting things done” as a pillar for their culture.

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Celebrate team success to show you care

When I decided to ask all our Execs to come and give praise, I expected people to be excited about the opportunity to get noticed. I thought that would be what they value most.

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Of course, everyone was glad to be given the opportunity to talk to the big bosses. But what did they remember most? I cared enough to do it. And, of course, the bosses themselves cared enough to carve out 1 hour of their busy schedule for the group.

Leading by example and showing emotional intelligence are key success factors in a Leadership journey.

When you celebrate team success, you invite empathy. In return, it nurtures a positive workplace atmosphere.

Celebrate team success to trigger inspiration

Why do you think biographies of successful entrepreneurs, stars, artists…are so popular?

Everyone likes success stories.

But it’s not just about the end result. We’re not inspired by the latest SpaceX rocket it-self. When the first return to earth was successful, inspiration came from the people who made it possible: their impressive team effort, the challenges they had to go through, the long hours… And when the rocket landed safely, we all shared the joy of collective team success (and secretly wished we would be part of that team).

It’s easy to forget that a big achievement is made up of many little things. Celebrating team success gives opportunity to tell the full success story. And it helps the team members find the “magic” in their day to day.

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A good party makes everyone happy

We all have a good story or two about why Bob’s leaving drinks where the best in a long time. Or how much fun the last launch event was.

Partying and being merry releases a cocktail of “happy chemicals” whose imprint is long-lasting. That’s why everyone looks forward to the annual Summer BBQ, or the beloved Christmas party.

When you celebrate your team success, you help your team to associate “feeling good” to “work-related stuff”. They make a very positive impression; happiness in the short term, and positive work vibes in the long-term.

Celebrations help your team to associate “feeling good” to “work-related stuff”.CLICK TO TWEET

Celebrating team success should be part of any Leader’s tool box. Giving praise, acknowledging effort along the way and — of course — celebration events are all easy ways to foster a deeper sense of connection with your team.

Your will to make each success special shows you care, and makes people feel valued. It impacts the team’s motivation levels, and has a lasting effect on performance.

So be merry! It’s the best demonstration of your commitment to your leadership values.

What is your unusual way to celebrate your team’s successes? Leave a comment below!

Originally published at www.coraliesawruk.com on 20 December 2016.

Founder, Yoäg: inspiration & yoga breaks. Conscious leadership lessons learned as I grow my wellness travel business.

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