In this piece, we explore the benefits of celebrating the wins – both big and small – in your organisation to enhance company culture and keep up motivation and productivity.
Too often, leaders of an organisation get tunnel vision. This is no doubt an essential part of having a strategic vision, as you’re constantly looking down the track at the goals you’ve set for 6, 12 and 18 months down the line. However, what about the little day to day and week to week wins? It’s important to realise that the stepping stones toward your large, overarching 12-month goal are underpinned and made possible by these little wins- so start celebrating! The moment you take some time out, you’ll see it paid back – and then some – by your staff who will appreciate the gratitude shown by the leadership team.
This is a skill that requires some transformative leadership skills on behalf of the management team. Although they might be steeped in the long-term vision for the organisation, leaders of an organisation need to adapt their leadership style to celebrate the little things in your operations. While it might not be specifically for the leadership team, they will see the benefits of taking a step back and celebrating the little wins. Why? Because humans need motivation, and a number of Gary Chapman’s five love languages require you to take time out and show your staff that you’re thankful.
If you need a refresher, Gary Chapman’s five languages say that people give and receive thanks in a variety of five forms: acts of service, touch, words of affirmation, gifts and quality time. It’s also worth noting that people give and respond to these love languages differently, so a transformative leader should be able to adapt the way in which they show gratitude in a way that will be best received by the person in question.
Likewise if you’re not part of that leadership team- you should try to show your colleagues that you’re grateful, and if you try to implement the appropriate love language with your team, you’re likely to see more productivity and an increase in your organisation’s culture immediately. If someone’s been working hard on a project, give them some words of affirmation if they respond best to that. You could also offer to buy them a coffee, or help them with part of the project, or spend your lunch break talking about something other than that project… This is how you can cover a number of Chapman’s love languages with the one person, depending on what they respond to best.
Some organisations – typically the larger ones – tend to forget the importance of celebrating the little wins in business. These are the little things, often unnoticed that constitute business as usual, but also deserve to be both acknowledged and celebrated. If your sales team are on-track, that’s something to celebrate. If you’ve met the weekly or monthly target, take an afternoon out to show your staff that their efforts made that possible. If you’ve exceeded a customer’s expectations while delivering your product or service, print this out or read it aloud to your team and they’ll feel that little buzz of gratitude which also spurs productivity and motivation. It’s also an essential part of reminding the team that your goal-setting processes is working well for the organisation, and by definition, for them too.
When you completely negate the importance in celebrating the little wins in business, you’re at risk of driving your employees too hard, and at a greater risk of creating a dangerous, toxic environment in your organisation. The aim is to have your employees – or be an employee- that is sitting in their car or on the train to work on a Monday morning, truly excited to come into work that day. If your organisation only stresses the negatives and takes time out to point out when an employee or a team has underperformed or made a mistake, you’re doing the exact opposite of what you should. While yes, it’s essential to give this feedback, if you’re only giving negative feedback and not celebrating the fact that your team is on track on their goals, this will almost certainly create a toxic culture in your organisation.
There are some simple ways to celebrate the little wins in business.
At Best Practice, we can easily send out an email to all staff with an @BPC domain, and we do. We regularly send out an email to all employees to show that our assessors are receiving great feedback from our clients, or that our marketing team is hitting their goals, or the sales team is on track for their 6-month target. When we put the word out, everyone replies with kind words of affirmation that the person or people mentioned can receive, which is invaluable in keeping those people motivated and productive and helps them realise that their efforts tie closely in to the organisation’s overall mission statement.
As soon as you can get your employees to see the link between their efforts and the organisation’s larger goals, they’ll be more productive. With certain organisational structures, it can be impossible for someone to see how their efforts on a Tuesday made an impact on the rest of the week, so this is where a dashboard of statistics comes into play. If you keep track of your relevant KPIs for each division – we map them out on a weekly basis for our staff to see – those employees will be able to grasp tangibly how their hard work and perseverance is assisting the organisation. They’ll feel valued, and subsequently motivated to keep going and improve upon this.
Don’t underestimate the importance of celebrating the little wins in business. We’ve seen organisations with all-encompassing tunnel vision that transformed sharp and motivated employees into unproductive links in the chain. Leadership teams have a responsibility to recognise that they are in charge of humans, not animals, and humans need to feel that gratitude – in whatever shape or form they respond to best – to keep productive and effective at their job.
Celebrate the little wins, your staff will thank you more than you might realise.