3 Reasons Leaders Should Celebrate Teams: Recognition, Bonding, & Pause Points Create Long Term Success
At the close of an important project, strong leaders capitalize on that moment to reinforce the team's learning and bonds. Team celebrations are an essential part of the long-term growth and health of your team. They are opportunities to express gratitude, which improves employee productivity and longevity. Celebrations recognize accomplishments, create bonding, and create necessary Pause Points for your team. Employ these three essential facets of celebrations to build a great team over time.
1. CELEBRATIONS RECOGNIZE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Recognizing accomplishments ensures your team knows you appreciate their win AND their hard work achieving it. When recognizing a goal reached, be sure you express gratitude for the effort it took to get there. Mention when the journey began, how far you came, what changed along the way, and what obstacles they overcame. If the goal itself changed or your process had to be overhauled, be sure to recognize that as a significant point in the journey.
Ask your team leaders what their hurdles were, and of what they are most proud. Elevating the story of these victories to your level (or higher) reminds them that you support them along every journey, even if you are not visibly in the weeds with them. This helps to motivate your team in the future, and helps them to see that adversities arising mid-stream will make for great stories when all is behind you.
2. CELEBRATIONS BOND TEAMS
Every team is sure to find friction among members during a project. Remembering those friction points and recognizing how team members resolved to work together highlights the strength of your team - their resilience and fortitude. These reminders focus them on the solutions rather than the problem, which of course helps the next time friction arises. When you demonstrate gratitude for your team members, you model healthy interpersonal skills and set the tone for your team culture. It also demonstrates that you understand team friction happens and that you value solutions most of all.
Whether the team worked well together or struggled to find harmony, celebrating togetherness at the completion of your project affirms teamwork going forward. Recognizing any subtle or behind-the-scenes contributions also helps everyone see that you are, in fact, a team, and that everyone contributes as best they can.
3. CELEBRATIONS CREATE PAUSE POINTS
"Congratulations on our Q4 results. You all went the extra mile to make our company a real success. Our next goals is..." How many of us have experienced recognition for a job well done, followed in the same breath by focus on the new goal? Moving directly from recognition of an accomplishment straight into the next goal is a great way to fatigue and alienate your team. If this is how you celebrate, you will soon see your best people depart.
Creating a Pause Point, a team-wide deep breath, after completing a big project is important, and the best way to initiate the pause is with the celebration. Take time to celebrate all of the good, all of the learning, all of the bonding, and then give your team a breather. It shows you truly do appreciate everything you just recognized. Taking a pause validates the importance of the accomplishment you have just celebrated, and it gives your team opportunity to recharge before launching on the next task. Even it if it just letting them leave an hour or two early (for smaller projects), granting space to recuperate shows your team that you value their time and effort. They surely gave you extra during the project; giving back a little afterward is a concrete way to show gratitude.
Leadership requires using milestones to build and strengthen your team. Strong leaders know that celebrations using Recognition, Bonding, and Pause Points are most effective at building strong teams for the long run.
Contact Network for Impact to learn more about making essential celebrations for your teams at firstname.lastname@example.org.