Acknowledging and recognizing milestones can go a long way in making someone’s day. Whether it’s a birthday, a work anniversary, a promotion or some other professional accomplishment, hearing the words “Happy Birthday” or “Congrats” are sure to spread a spirit of positivity in your office. Get creative and find unusual reasons to celebrate life with your co-workers such as “Congrats on your new puppy!” or “You survived your first tax season!” In my book, just making it to Friday is reason enough to celebrate!
Did you know that a study from O.C. Tanner Company notes that nearly 80% of people who quit their jobs do so because of a lack of appreciation at work? Another study from Price Waterhouse and Cooper’s Saratoga Institute found that many people who have key roles in organizations prefer appreciation, purpose, and autonomy, rather than promotions and raises, to feel engaged.
When workers don’t feel recognized or appreciated, their engagement, loyalty, and drive to go above and beyond greatly decrease. Their intrinsic motivation goes way down and they stop putting in the extra effort. This can impact productivity, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
One way to cultivate a culture of appreciation is to recognize your employees for various milestones that they meet. This is especially important to celebrate small wins with that struggling employee. Maybe you bring in cake for this first sale or organize a team standing ovation for navigating their first order completion on their own. Just being intentional about looking for opportunities to encourage will give you ideas to celebrate. While the value of recognizing successes and milestones related to work can not be underestimated, how much more meaningful and personal would it be to give someone a shout-out for a non-work related achievement? Taking it a step further, you could even acknowledge a triumph of their spouse, partner, child, or other loved one!
This week, I challenge you to brainstorm different milestones you can celebrate within your team. Did someone survive their first ever tax season? Did someone successful navigate a huge project with a particularly difficult client? Perhaps someone bought their first home or their child graduated from high school or college. Did someone complete their first marathon or other athletic achievement? Perhaps someone’s child won their gymnastics meet or baseball tournament. There are nearly limitless opportunities for this tip! You just have to do some digging and get to know your team. We all spend so many hours together at work. Why not find occasions to make it fun and help combat the 9 - 5 humdrum?!
FUN FACT: In the 1930s, pom poms were used by high schools and universities as a decorative accessory for cheerleaders to improve showmanship. The first usable pom pom's creation was credited to Jim Hazlewood, who created them using crepe, or tissue, paper. Lawrence Herkimer began manufacturing modern pom poms after he founded his cheerleading supply company in 1953.