Your team has had a great week/month or even year. It’s time to celebrate. But how?
I am sure all managers have been guilty of the same-old basic “shout out” e-mail or booking lunch. The feeling that these two things are a staple gesture to demonstrate how much value is placed on what has been achieved. As someone who talks to individuals and companies every day about culture and how to stand-out from the crowd, I think this is a huge mistake. It’s time to think outside the box and ensure your team is in no doubt how much their hard-work and commitment is appreciated and recognised.
Not everyone wants a night out. Not everyone loves to party and getting home at 3am. Some the highest performers in your team right now hate being forced into open celebration and feel that public recognition is excruciatingly embarrassing.
So what’s the answer? Create celebrations that reflect the diversity of your team and are in-line with the culture you want to create. Here are some bottom-line friendly thoughts without a massive price tag:
A Day of Inspiration
Creativity is a really great way to accelerate a company’s growth. If you get the brain performing at a high-level, you are onto a winner. But human’s need a huge amount of inspiration to keep it going. So, when a team member comes up with a brilliant solution, or brings an innovative approach to the table, celebrate by providing them with a free day of inspiration. For example, set a day aside for them to visit an art gallery or a museum or take their family on an explorative day-out. This will get them firing on all cylinders!
The Big Chill
I love it when people recognise that rest is an important part of the equation. A healthy mind is a creative one. To ensure your team get on-board with this ethos, encourage people to take time off between high-performance periods. Create calmer areas around the office, endorse taking late mornings after stressful periods. Instead of having a late-night filled with booze and regret after a deadline is met, advocating rest can be more effective in producing the results you want!
Give the best gift of all – new skills
When an employee wants to increase their capability by trying a new skill or lending a helping-hand to another team member, reward them by helping them to up-skill even further. Offer to finance a course (you don’t have to break the bank) or suggest they buddy-up with a more senior employee. Commoditising learning is a great way to normalise this behaviour – it actively confirms that you have a culture that celebrates learning, with both your company’s time and money.
Good old-fashioned praise
In my opinion, the most important thing to celebrate is the act of (calculated) risk-taking, rather than on just the end-result. This will help your team understand the significance of going “above and beyond” for your organisation. Verbal praise beats an e-mail or a text any day of the week (according to a Japanese study it even stimulates the same neural pathway receiving cash does). Research found 82% of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift. The best leaders celebrate behaviour instead of outcome.
How do you recognise your team?