5 Ways To Celebrate Success & Reaching Your Goals At Work

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If you think a simple celebration channel on Slack is enough to motivate your employees, you couldn’t be more wrong. If celebrating successes is an afterthought for managers or employers, productivity and engagement will surely go down. If you need to seriously rethink how your team is celebrating successes, read on for some tips from Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown, Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos LLC and author of The Souls of Queer Folk: How Understanding LGBTQ+ Cultural Values Can Transform Your Leadership Practice – and some ways you can try out Hive for free to make your celebrations legendary.

The culture of celebrating successes

“Most of the focus for any workplace has been survival, i.e., how do we sustain our operations and how do we take care of each other in the midst of an epidemic,” Dr. Davis Brown says. “In that space, I haven’t seen many organizations take the time or have the capacity to think about celebrations in a deeply transformative way since 2020.”

However, celebrations of success should be as intense and fruitful as employees’ work to get there. 

Dr. Davis Brown mentions that one of his most memorable celebrations of success thus far was for a global inclusion initiative. When the project was over, the client sent every employee in the medium-sized company a gift box and sponsored a day of celebration. Additionally, Dr. Davis Brown’s team designed individual team celebrations where employees talked about highlights in the project and expressed their appreciation for one another.

“Each employee got a certificate, and the organization treated the day as a graduation, with all of the playful pomp and circumstance it could muster,” Dr. Davis Brown says. “As a result of that occasion, employees felt validated and affirmed for the work they had done.”

When celebrations go wrong

Sometimes, teams can believe they’re thoughtfully celebrating success when really they’re just doing the bare minimum. That sends a message to employees, Dr. Davis Brown says, that individuals are thought of more as commodities than people.

“In most cases, celebrations are arbitrary, ad-hoc, and poorly designed,” Dr. Davis Brown continues. “It reinforces the implicit notion that employees should function as drones or keep their heads down and continue to generate commoditized output. It demotivates people and disincentivizes growth.”

“When celebrations are generic, non-descriptive, formulaic, and impersonal, they come across as perfunctory and lack the zeal, energy, and spice that a celebration should be known for,” he adds. “When a leader offers a trite statement or superficial gesture to recognize an employee for a success, it suggests that the milestone or success itself was routine and uninspiring.”

The best ways to celebrate successes

Dr. Davis Brown notes a big difference between “recognition” and “celebration” – whereas recognition acknowledges achievement, celebrations honor the humanity of those who accomplished their goals. Recognizing is essential, but it’s only the first step; celebrating takes conscious effort and planning.

“Those organizations that honor humanity create celebrations that honor growth, showcase authenticity, build connection, and foster community.”

Check out Dr. Davis Brown’s five best ways to celebrate successes – and how Hive can help execute them.

1. “Ask your employees how they want to be honored.

Most importantly, employees should have a say in how they’re celebrated. Dr. Davis Brown says that by using their input, employers can make celebrations that “make them feel seen, heard, and truly valued.”

Using a tool like SurveyMonkey, Hive users can gather data on what their employees want and instantly integrate that data into their workspace without tedious double-checking, saving everyone time and money.

2. “Honor that person for who they are, as well as for what they have done.

Getting things done isn’t just about achieving a product, Dr. Davis Brown says – it’s about the person who got the job done. Individual contributions are bolstered by the passion and power of the employee that executes their tasks in a highly individualized manner. 

“Don’t just highlight what they’ve done. Celebrate who they are.”

Additionally, it doesn’t take that much time out of your day to give a coworker some thoughtful praise. With native chat and email integrations, Hive users can celebrate their coworkers easily and quickly, even if they’re just happy about a small win.

3. “Use storytelling.”

Painting a picture of your team’s story can make successes feel more triumphant, so be creative with how you celebrate by using storytelling.

“Tell the story of how a person achieved a certain success in order to make the occasion more poetic and compelling,” Dr. Davis Brown says.

Hive’s integration tools can allow employees to use their Gantt charts or Jira boards to really see how far they’ve come, building a story of the project from the ground up.

4. “Recognize the collective effort and be unabashed in your praise.”

Rather than just giving generic congratulations, know exactly what you’re celebrating so you can be effusive and direct. For this form of celebration, Hive’s time-tracking tools provide team members with a visual diary of every person’s individual efforts that support the team’s cumulative success.

“Support and celebrate the team dynamic that contributed to the organizational success. Bring enthusiasm, joy, and high energy. Treat the celebration as though it is a special commemorative event.”

5. “Bring people physically together and have fun.”

Dr. Davis Brown concludes that one of the best ways to celebrate successes is to take people offline and connect them to each other in real-time. Everyone is tired of staring at Zoom meetings and having virtual parties – so give them a space to have fun.

“Look for ways to get people together so they can strengthen existing bonds, build new ones, and forge a sense of community among their colleagues and teammates. Find some way to design the celebration to bring joy and laughter to the occasion. Strike the right balance between solemnity, professionalism, excitement, and playfulness.”

Believe it or not, Hive can also be used as an integral tool to plan your next in-person event, so you can tackle everything from marketing to hiring vendors with ease.

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