When we talk about achievements in the workplace, we usually point to the big stuff… How it feels to hit a major milestone, breakthrough, or long-term goal. Those big “wins” are amazing and very rewarding, but they don’t happen all that often. That’s why you should consider focusing on the many small wins or minor accomplishments to drive better workplace results. It’s already commonplace outside the work environment. Sports is a great example.
When you watch a football game, nearly every single play is celebrated by one team or the other. It could be an incredible catch, a big run, a sack or a crucial tackle. Or, of course, a sportscenter-worthy touchdown dance. The point is that the players don’t just celebrate the win at the end, the celebrate every play as they make progress on their way to their bigger goal. It helps motivate the team and gets everyone else around them more invested in the game and focused on continued performance.
In the workplace, studies have shown that employees are more engaged and happier when achievements are celebrated, so it makes sense to celebrate more often and more robustly. More engaged and happier employees lead to further achievements and celebrations; it’s an upward spiral that feeds itself in the best possible way! And the celebrations can be small, easy, and cheap, and still give you the results you’re after. Here’s five different ways you can celebrate the small stuff in the workplace.
Statements of acknowledgment in public ways are an extremely powerful thing. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to write a press release about every minor victory, but a simple “Heads up everyone- Aaron just finished another chapter in the new Introduction to Concentrates guide, give him a high-five when you see him!” can do the trick. To try and institutionalize the process of recognition within your team consider setting up a channel specifically for this purpose. It’ll prompt others to join in as well. Receiving praise from a superior is a great feeling, but in some ways, having your colleagues and teammates recognize your achievements can be even better.
The first written accounts of the high five date from the early 1980s, and it’s been ingrained in our culture ever since. The high five is a powerful thing! It’s free, quick, and motivational. Give good high fives often and enthusiastically. The top dog at our office, Greg, walks around giving hugs constantly. That might not be a cultural fit for some workplaces, but it’s the same principal and provides the same results as a high five.
Snacks & Coffee
Never, ever underestimate the power of coffee. If you pair it with a snack of some kinds (donuts, obviously), then you can supercharge the mini-party. It’s low-cost, always appreciated, and works even better if it’s not expected.
Team Field Trip
Getting out of the office as a group is always great for team-building, even if there’s no specific achievement to celebrate. Dinners, lunches, and drinks are fun, but it never hurts to think outside the box. Consider breakfast bowling, an escape room, axe throwing, or going to a daytime sporting event. Want to keep the budget a little tighter? Pot-luck or barbecue in a park will do the trick.
We’re all about CSR (which is why we support the amazing mission of Cannabis Doing Good), and small charitable donations are a great way to mark minor achievements or benchmarks. Try using a reverse-swear jar concept. Set a goal, maybe it’s a $500 donation to a charity everybody can get behind. When somebody in your office hits a milestone on a project or does something positive, drop a donation in the jar to mark the occasion. They’ll not only feel good about the public acknowledgement, but also that their efforts mark progress towards helping a good cause outside of the workplace.
A note to leadership: we recognize how easy it is to get swept up in the day-to-day workplace operations and let recognition of your team’s achievements fall through the cracks. To take the pressure off, set up a recurring task or calendar reminder for lunchtime on Fridays. If you hit that point and haven’t done anything over the week to celebrate a small success, it’ll be a reminder that you’ll know you need to make it happen before the end of the day. And if the management still feels overwhelming, check out KyndHub, a platform that has gamified kindness. No act is too small to create big victories. Now go give a high five or simply say thank you!