- Celebrating Achievement: How to Help Your Team Feel Good
- Celebrating Success
- What Is Achievement?
- Make Celebration Meaningful
- Recognize Your Own Achievements
- Nine Ways to Celebrate Achievement
- 11 ways you can celebrate an accomplishment without spending lots of money
- 50 Simple Ways to Celebrate and Enjoy Life
- 5 Simple Ways to Celebrate The Everyday
- 1. Start Your Day as a Celebration
- 2. Be Aware of the Micro Achievements
- 5. Celebrate Every Evening
Celebrating Achievement: How to Help Your Team Feel Good
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Find the right way to celebrate success.
Celebrating a milestone an anniversary, a birthday, or a great set of grades can give us an amazing feeling. And it can be even better when someone else notices our achievements and makes the effort to acknowledge them.
This is true at work, too. Celebrating achievement can boost confidence and increase motivation. Showing appreciation can also boost your organization's reputation, improve retention, and help to attract top talent.
But how much recognition is enough? And when do celebrations become overbearing or lose meaning? In this article, we explore nine ways to celebrate achievement in your team, while avoiding the pitfalls.
Take a moment to consider how your team or organization celebrates success or achievement. Is it having a positive impact?
In a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), most respondents said that their companies did operate some kind of recognition scheme. However, more than a third of the people surveyed had received no recognition in the previous year. Less than half said that recognition was provided fairly, and only half said that they felt valued by their employer.
The employer probably had the best of intentions, but these schemes were ly a waste of effort and resources, and left many employees feeling demoralized rather than motivated.
If you celebrate achievement in the right way, you'll ly increase confidence and motivation, leading to happier and more productive teams. If you rarely acknowledge a job well done (or you celebrate in a way that feels forced, unfair or inappropriate) there's a risk that morale and dedication will slip away.
A reputation for celebrating wins and effort can also become a central pillar of your employer branding, helping your organization to attract and retain talent.
What Is Achievement?
When we think of an achievement, we tend to picture something the ordinary, exceeding targets, landing a big sale, or delivering a project milestone.
But other, less measurable, behaviors deserve recognition, too – for example, pulling together as a team to head off a crisis, learning and applying a new skill, or supporting new recruits. Even something as simple as quietly consistent good work can be worthy of celebration.
You might wonder why you should bother to bolster your team members' self-esteem in the first place. After all, aren't they just doing what they're paid for?
But self-assured teams don't “rest on their laurels.” Acknowledging and celebrating their achievements is part of building an effective, driven team that will actively seek to improve results and performance.
Make Celebration Meaningful
Whatever you choose to celebrate, make sure it's appropriate for the people involved.
A celebration can take many forms, from a private, low-key conversation to a public event with no expense spared. But the APA survey we referred to earlier also showed that a reward or gift has no positive effect if the recipient doesn't actually want it, no matter how much you've spent on it.
So, be sure to think carefully about your colleagues' preferences and personalities – and the dynamics of the team – before you hold a celebration.
For example, if the person concerned is an introvert, they might not want to stand up and give a speech, or receive a gift in front of their colleagues. Instead, a quiet, personal “well done” could be all they need, and they'll appreciate it even more knowing that you've taken their preferences into account.
Similarly, don't present a bottle of champagne to a person who doesn't drink alcohol, or organize an expensive outing for the team when salaries are frozen.
Some people may feel offended or patronized by any overt appreciation of their work. From their perspective, it might seem to imply surprise that they've done well! There might also be wider cultural faux pas to avoid if you're part of a culturally diverse team.
Also consider whether your organization, or the people in your team, place more value on extrinsic or intrinsic rewards. For example, a conscientious team member might enjoy the opportunity to spend time on a personal project more than receiving a monetary bonus.
One way to find out what your people value is simply to ask them. You can do this informally, or through an employee satisfaction survey.
Don't go overboard! Excessive celebration of everyday efforts might make you appear touch with your team's work. And if you give praise too frequently, it can lose its impact.
Recognize Your Own Achievements
Don't forget to celebrate your own accomplishments, too!
Find time to think about what you've achieved as part of your personal goal setting. This can boost your self-esteem, and your sense of autonomy and mastery. It can also increase your visibility, particularly if you share the credit with others.
But avoid indulging in noisy self-promotion: it may seem arrogance, your co-workers won't appreciate it, and it could damage your reputation.
Nine Ways to Celebrate Achievement
So, how can you acknowledge and applaud success? Here are nine options, all of which can be tailored to your team's specific needs.
1. Just say it. A straightforward, face-to-face “well done” is a simple but effective way to celebrate achievement. A personal email can be sufficient, too, and a handwritten card or note can add a valuable personal touch.
Gathering the team together to acknowledge success can be a powerful statement, and a round of applause can be uplifting and team-building – but take care not to embarrass anyone.
2. Share success stories. A group message is another option. Tailor it to the specific person and their achievement, but don't overuse this method or it could come across as formulaic.
You can use email, the company newsletter, social media, or a messaging platform to share and celebrate success stories. You could even set up a dedicated channel to highlight and congratulate people for jobs well done. This has the added benefit of raising your team member's profile.
3. Pay it forward. When you're celebrating an achievement of your own, show your gratitude by acknowledging the people who helped to make it happen. Always look out for opportunities to help other people to succeed, so that they have a reason to celebrate, too.
And when team members share good news, always try to respond positively. Positive reinforcements further enhance team morale.
4. Give a gift. A celebratory gift could be a one-off cash bonus, or a non-cash equivalent, such as a retail or experience voucher. Cash is often the most popular reward, but think very carefully about how other employees might perceive it. Bear in mind that some team members may already be incentivized with cash bonuses.
Try to avoid setting a precedent: you don't want recognition to become just an impersonal cash transaction.
Gifts such as food or flowers are a relatively inexpensive yet powerful way of recognizing achievement. Make sure that you consider any dietary or allergy issues. There may also be cultural sensitivities around giving gifts that you should be aware of.
5. Get together socially. Celebrating by buying team members a meal or drink can be an effective way to reward them and to boost team spirit. However, beware excluding anyone who, for example, is away on vacation, has special dietary requirements, or has caregiving responsibilities.
If you hold your event during the working day, be mindful of colleagues' deadlines and be clear about whether you expect them to return to work afterward.
6. Organize a team day out. A trip to the movies, a meal at a restaurant, attending a sporting event, or even a day of outdoor activities are all common ways of celebrating. But there are potential risks to keep in mind, too.
Everyone will ly have a different idea of “fun,” so try to find an activity that will be popular across the board. You won't want anyone to be unhappy or refuse to take part. This is a particular risk with physical or outdoor activities that might be difficult for some people, for health, accessibility or confidence reasons.
Once you've agreed on a suitable event, further questions to answer might be:
- What's included in the day at the company's expense?
- Is there anyone who'd find it hard to afford the other parts of the day?
- Can people bring family members?
- If so, will those family members have to pay their own way?
- Where does that leave colleagues who are single or without children?
7. Offer extra holiday. Time off can be a great reward, especially when your team has worked extra hours to complete a project. But would working late occasionally for no particular reason also count as an achievement? Be careful about creating false expectations for the future.
8. Set up a hall of fame. An “employee of the week” noticeboard or notification can be popular and effective, but it can lose impact over time.
You risk accusations of tokenism if you feel obliged to choose someone rather than no one, whether they deserve it or not. And if you keep recognizing a “star” team member, or constantly overlook another, you might start to alienate people.
9. Have an awards ceremony. A glitzy evening of music, trophies and speeches is an exciting way to combine socializing, team building and networking with formal recognition and celebration.
If you have the budget, you can hire a venue and a professional events team. However, if you want to limit the expense and increase participation, get your team involved in managing and running the event, including making the food and costumes. This will be fun and rewarding in itself!
This list is by no means exhaustive. Use your imagination and judgment to create your own celebrations – and see what happens to productivity and job satisfaction when your people feel celebrated and recognized for their work.
Celebrating achievement is an important part of building and maintaining an effective, self-assured team, boosting your own confidence, and making your organization a great place to work.
There are many ways to celebrate achievement. The key is to understand your team members and what motivates them. That way, you can celebrate appropriately, fairly, and with lasting impact.
11 ways you can celebrate an accomplishment without spending lots of money
The idea of “treating ourselves” is always on our mind. Infusing day-to-day life with something a little celebratory and special is always a good choice, especially when you’ve just accomplished something you’re proud of. We to think that you should be your own biggest fan (it’s okay if it’s really your dog!), and that means basking in your own success because you deserve it!
But when you’re a boss babe who’s constantly getting things done, it can be expensive to constantly treat yourself. Thankfully, there are ways to celebrate that won’t break the bank, and those are the celebrations we believe should be partaken in regularly. Read on to see 11 inexpensive ways to #treatyoself.
Fill up the bath, load up on CVS face masks (hey they’re great and cheap!), grab your favorite nail polish, and put on that one guilty pleasure flick you just hate to love.
Pamper yourself! Give yourself a foot massage, cuddle up with your dog or cat, and breathe a sigh of relief.
You DID THAT! You can even incorporate aromatherapy into your spa day by using an essential oil diffuser, candles, or incense. Get creative!
Nothing screams “I DID IT” running off far, far away to celebrate. Changing your day-to-day schedule up can make a world of difference for your wellbeing, even if it’s as simple as driving somewhere new.
Take the subway to a new stop and walk around, get in your car and check out that area of downtown you’ve been meaning to explore, and don’t forget to enjoy the unknown! Adventure is out there, and waiting, so go catch it!
Thanks to supermarkets Trader Joe’s, you can buy yourself a bouquet of beautiful blooms without spending major bucks (most of the time for less than $7!). Grab yourself some new flowers, talk to them, put them in a beautiful vase, and don’t forget to take some selfies with your new friends to celebrate!
Our favorite way to treat yourself is to do it shamelessly. Is your favorite ritual watching 10 episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia while eating a tub of ice cream? We say go for it! Watch that season of your favorite show and don’t apologize for it. If television is your favorite way to celebrate, then by all means indulge! You have the right to choose how you treat yourself.
Sometimes it’s fun to change things up! Try parting your hair differently or bringing out that glitter eyeshadow that’s been sitting in your drawer for months.
Playing dress up is still fun, even as an adult.
Transform yourself into something weird or wild or bold or tame; no matter what you do, just don’t forget to take selfies! But please, stay away from the hair scissors unless you know what you’re doing!
Happiness is only real when shared, right? Call one of your favorite humans and tell them what you did. YES, seriously.
You deserve to be proud of yourself and you are totally allowed to tell someone you care about what you’re proud of! Squeal on the phone together, jump around in real life together, cry over text together; the how is less important! Allowing yourself to feel loved and supported isn’t selfish, it’s necessary and important and worthy. Never forget that!
What’s better than dessert? Dessert YOU make, right? Even if you aren’t savvy in the kitchen, it’s still cathartic to try! Buy your favorite cake mix (looking at you Funfetti) and get baking! You can even wear an apron and do your hair all fancy and pretend you’re Julia Child if you so desire. Have fun with it and don’t forget to enjoy your masterpiece when it comes the oven.
We’re not sure why this happens, but it seems as we get older, we forget about the magic of the public library. Reading any and every book under the sun, for FREE? Yes please, don’t mind if we do! Head to your local branch and grab that book you’ve been meaning to dig into. Bonus points if you do this THEN have a spa day or run a bath.
Ahhh, nothing feels as nice as a new book.
It’s easy to forget that we deserve our own love and attention just as much as our BFF, partner, or family members. Take 30 minutes (or more!) to yourself — sans phone, of course.
Cuddle up with a journal or good book, and take some time to reassess how you feel. Sometimes our feelings are tricky; when we feel we should be proud of something, we can feel we’re not deserving of it.
Be honest with yourself and don’t forget to show yourself some compassion. You are allowed to be proud!
Pump UP the jams, throw DOWN the inhibition and dance, dance, dance! Dance fully clothed, dance unclothed, dance half-clothed; it doesn’t matter! Get your body moving and your soul grooving with the oldest celebration there is. Whether you’re listening to Spice Girls or Beyoncé, it’s all fair game. Dancing is good for you (hello cardio) and it’s impossible to not have fun when you’re moving for yourself. Shake it out, babe!
Baths are the best. You can soak for hours, pretend you’re a mermaid, sip wine, or just relax. And if you make your bath a little more intentional, it can literally become magical.
Add some lavender or rose essential oils to the tub, throw in a few rose petals, light a few candles, and de-stress.
Taking an epsom salt bath is another way to physically and mentally relax, helping you get ready for your next accomplishment!
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50 Simple Ways to Celebrate and Enjoy Life
Make it a goal to celebrate life in some way, however small, every day. Below you’ll find a list of 50 simple joys to help remind you to slow down, celebrate life, and enjoy the moment!
The ideas were taken from my eBook, “500 Simple Ways to Celebrate and Enjoy Life“.
1. Have afternoon tea “alfresco”. Find a small coffee shop with tables set up outside; or pack a picnic basket—filled with iced tea, chicken salad from the deli, scones, and a warm, crusty loaf of French bread–and head out to the park.
2. Go for a bike ride. John F. Kennedy once said, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride”. Better yet, ride your bike to a swimming hole and take a swimsuit and towel along.
3. Plant pots of brightly colored flowers; you can choose to plant camellias, violets, and geraniums. For fragrant blossoms plant jasmines.
4. Find George Carlin videos on (Carlin is hilarious). Here’s a great one to get you started: George Carlin Talks About “Stuff”.
5. Renew a relationship with someone you’ve lost touch with.
6. Create a collage of pictures of your loved ones, frame it, and hang it up in a visible spot in your home.
7. Blow bubbles.
8. Get a delicious, gooey brownie and savor every morsel.
9. Arranging beautiful flowers in a vase is a simple, exquisite pleasure.
10. Give someone you love a gift “just-because”. Better yet, make it a care package or a gift basket filled with their favorite things: flavored coffee, a great coffee mug, and the book they’ve been wanting to read; microwave popcorn and all of the “Indiana Jones” movies on DVD; their favorite scented bath products; and so on.
11. Get your picture taken by a professional photographer.
12. Create a butterfly garden in your yard by choosing butterfly-friendly plants.
13. Stretch out on your couch with a compendium of your favorite comic strip, read it through from beginning to end, and laugh until your stomach hurts. If you don’t have a favorite comic strip, I recommend Calvin & Hobbes.
14. Plan your fantasy vacation. Do online research, cut out pictures from magazines, collect brochures from travel agencies, and plan your vacation to the last detail. Don’t censor yourself by thinking about the cost or when you’ll have the time to go. To paraphrase Goethe, first you move and then Providence moves too.
15. Start putting together your Christmas list, both what you plan to give others and what you would to receive. (Thinking about Christmas always lifts my spirits, no matter what month of the year it is.)
16. Learn to bake peach cobbler.
17. Go to a body of water near your home and skip rocks.
18. Hunt for bird nests. When you find one, don’t touch it, just look.
19. Go to an arboretum or a botanical garden. Take a sketch pad and pencil and capture anything that inspires you.
20. Make a donation: donate your time at a food shelter; invest in a third world country entrepreneur through www.kiva.com; donate blood; donate clothes you no longer use to a battered women’s shelter; donate children’s books to a hospital nearby; celebrate life by paying it forward.
21. Listen to Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”.
22. Sing in the shower.
23. Do something that gives you a sense of luxury. You can get a leather notebook to jot down your thoughts, or a beautiful fountain pen. Start collecting fanciful note cards so that you have them on hand when you want to send a hand-written “thank you”.
24. If you love reading, join a book club. Sharing your love of literature with others is a great way to celebrate life.
25. Watch the sunset.
26. Watch the sunrise.
27. Get a yo-yo. Learn the “Walk-the-Dog” trick and the “Drop in the Bucket” trick.
28. Wear audacious underwear. Nobody has to know.
29. Buy a bird feeder—or even better, build one—and hang it in a place where you can see it often.
30. Go outside at night—or climb up to your building’s rooftop—and look at the stars.
31. Stop and really listen to a street musician.
32. Go to a pet shop and “ooh” and “aah” at the puppies and kittens.
33. Simmer apple cider, cinnamon, and cloves in water on your stove.
34. Play a game you loved as a child: play with marbles or jacks; jump rope; play hopscotch; draw with colored chalk on the sidewalk; get some Play-Doh; or go to a park and climb on the swings.
35. Whenever you take on a task at work ask yourself: “Is there any way to make this task more fun?”
36. Read poetry.
37. Get yourself a big book of sudokus or crossword puzzles and sit back for an afternoon of fun mind stimulation.
38. Sit down with a large art book filled with Impressionist paintings by artists such as Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pisarro, Degas . . .
39. Find a shampoo and conditioner that smell watermelon.
40. Walk barefoot in the grass.
41. Go out for a walk in the rain. Deliberately step in puddles.
42. Visit antique stores and flea markets until you find the perfect brass knocker for your front door, one that makes you smile every time you’re about to enter your home.
43. Buy the softest terry cloth robe you can find and put it in the drier just before taking a shower, so that it’s nice and warm when you get the shower and put it on.
44. Get a bright red umbrella.
45. Go out for a walk and take your camera along; take photographs of interesting faces.
46. Listen to Louis Armstrong singing, “What a Wonderful World“. Here’s the best line from the song: “Trees of green. Red roses too. Skies of blue. Clouds of white. The brightest day. The dark sacred night. What a wonderful world. ”
47. Eat your favorite cereal from when you were a child: Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cap’n Crunch, etc.
48. Listen to your favorite “Beatles” songs.
49. Go out and play Frisbee with a friend. If you have a dog, better yet.
50. Have an ice cream cone!
In the words of Fannie Fern, “There are no little things. Little things are the hinges of the universe.” Live your best life by celebrating the little things every day.
Get 500 Simple Ways to Celebrate and Enjoy Life
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love my eBook, “500 Simple Ways to Celebrate and Enjoy Life“. It sells for only $4.95. It’s a 55-Page PDF with over 10,000 words and it’s chock-full of easy ways to savor every morsel of life.
Here are some of the sections you’ll find inside:
- Celebrate Life With Family
- Celebrate Life With Friends
- Celebrate Mornings
- Celebrate Life by Pampering Yourself
- Celebrate Life by Doing Something Creative
5 Simple Ways to Celebrate The Everyday
I had just finished a project that kept me up day and night for months. After its completion, a friend asked me “What have you done to celebrate?”
Celebrate? The notion hadn’t crossed my mind. I was about to run off to the next project. She helped me realize the importance of celebrating the accomplishment of a project’s end. As I reflected on this, I saw the value in celebrating the everyday and figured we could all benefit from taking a moment to celebrate the little and big achievements in our lives.
I now propose what I call, “The Celebration Project.” How can we actively and consciously take time every day to celebrate?
Here are 5 simple ways to celebrate your every day.
1. Start Your Day as a Celebration
Celebrate the fact that you are alive. Take a few moments every morning to simply enjoy a few minutes over a cup of coffee or tea and breathe in the aroma, feel the warmth, and enjoy the comfort. Give thanks for the day that is coming your way. When you begin your day with a sense of gratitude and celebration, you are bound to have more joy for the rest of the day.
2. Be Aware of the Micro Achievements
All too often we take ourselves for granted. Just finished writing a challenging e-mail to someone? Take a moment and celebrate that you did it. Did you choose to spend your lunch break taking a walk and getting some exercise? Celebrate yourself for taking care of your body.
Did you spend a few extra minutes giving a friend or co-worker a helping hand? Celebrate yourself for giving somebody the time to make their life easier. When we notice the little things in life we did well, it improves our mood and self-esteem.
If you find you are taking yourself for granted, start taking notice of all the awesome things you do on a daily basis.
This tip has a double bonus—when you celebrate someone else, both of you feel awesome! Start taking notice when your partner does little things, taking out the trash, making the bed, or cleaning up the bathroom. When you celebrate someone else for the little things, they feel valued and will be more inclined to help again.
Can you relate? Think about if your partner thanked you for all your hard work on the little things, doesn’t that gratitude make you want to do it all over again? Notice when a co-worker gives you the helping hand, or when a car lets you in during traffic.
When you celebrate all the good things others do for you, it helps you appreciate others more and it helps others feel great too. Now that’s a double win.
Sometimes your celebration will be a moment of acknowledgement, while other times, call for more luxury—such as taking yourself out for a pedicure, a meal with friends, or even a weekend getaway.
We may not have the opportunity to celebrate big all the time, but every now and then, it’s healthy to celebrate luxuriously.
So go ahead—break open the champagne and celebrate a job well done, a fantastic week, or a huge project accomplished.
5. Celebrate Every Evening
Just as you begin every day in celebration, let’s end the day celebrating and reflecting upon the day that’s passed. Spend a few minutes over a cup of tea, or lying in bed, giving thanks for all the blessings in your day and your life. This will add more richness to your day, warmth in your heart, and bring in more abundance for you to celebrate.
Remember—celebration is an attitude—so will you come on board for The Celebration Project? I’d love to hear from you! How do you celebrate a big accomplishment? And how do you plan to celebrate in the everyday? Report in the comments below, and let’s all inspire each other to celebrate our everyday lives a little more!