Well, maybe not everybody. I like a good celebration, and birthdays are a good reason to celebrate. I’m guessing you like to celebrate too. And what about the people you work with-do they like to celebrate?
So if most everybody likes to celebrate, how often do they get the opportunity? Regrettably celebrations at work don’t happen very often.
Why celebrate? First, it creates camaraderie, and that is essential to teamwork. Secondly, a celebration recognizes and commemorates something worthwhile or important. Third, a celebration can reward an individual or team for the good work they’ve done. And fourth, it is just plain fun and fun not only makes the workplace more enjoyable, it raises energy levels as well.
Companies, on average, don’t celebrate enough when times are good. They definitely don’t celebrate enough when times are tough. With budget cuts and belt-tightening, lots of good stuff disappears. I can make a good case that celebrating during the tough times might be even more important. Good celebrations should happen because of and in spite of.
Celebrating individual success proves how much you value the person. I’ve yet to work with a company where employees told me the company celebrated them too much. More often I get the comment that “…no matter how hard we work, nobody seems to notice.”
Organizational success needs to be celebrated. Business is off 30% this year? Maybe you should celebrate that it isn’t off 50%! I am pretty sure that the downturn your company is experiencing isn’t your fault, or the fault of your employees, so why not celebrate anyway? Maybe people will feel a little better about themselves and where they work. And they’ll feel a little less down about the challenges and travails of the times.
Here’s a crash course in becoming a world-class celebrator:
1. Celebrate frequently. You’re familiar with the old adage, “Life is short. Eat desert first.” I think we should also remember: “Life is short. Celebrate often.”
2. Celebrate big and celebrate small. Most people are familiar with the expensive celebrations (off-sites, restaurants, sporting events, invite your spouse, etc.) Done less well are the little celebrations. Bringing in donuts one morning to celebrate “beginning of the week” or “end of the week” (or both|) is an example.
3. Celebrate creatively. Don’t just think dollars (cost), think different (creative). Throwing money into a celebration won’t necessarily make it a success, and in times like these, that probably isn’t an option anyhow. Instead, consider what little things you can do to note, recognize and reward individual and team success. Start with the basic 3F’s: food, fellowship and fun-how can you enhance each when you celebrate?
4. Involve others. Rotate who is in charge of celebrations. Don’t get caught in a “party committee” trap like the television show The Office. Different people will bring different perspectives on how to celebrate.
5. Don’t worry. Some celebrations will be silly, a little goofy or imperfect. So what? I’d rather be occasionally silly than permanently rigid. While I am a big believer in results, celebrations are a good example of how intentions can sometimes be as important as the outcomes they create. Most people will appreciate the intention behind a good celebration, even the imperfect and silly ones.
In my book Teambuilt: Making Teamwork Work, I tell the story of a supervisor who threw a pizza party for her team after the company they worked for hosted them to a big recognition event for achieving outstanding results. I asked her why she had the smaller, informal party after the big gala. Her response was insightful. She said, “The big events won’t keep happening. We’ll keep doing great work that may or may not get recognized and celebrated in the future by upper management. It is my responsibility as a leader to always celebrate my team’s success.”
So what are you going to celebrate this month?
Featured Blog ( from http://www.marksanborn.com/blog )
New Belgium Brewing has a great little bar and grille at Denver International Airport. The food is good and the beer is better, but a bartender who goes by the name “Meatloaf” is best of all.
Meatloaf is an original. While he reminds me of other good bartenders and service professionals, he adds his own spin. He enthusiastically greets everyone who sits down at the bar, introduces himself, gets their name and then introduces them to every other patron at the bar. He goes down the line introducing everyone by first name. Then has asks for a big “woo!” at the end to welcome the latest addition. If everyone participates and does a good job on the “woo” Meatloaf will comment on the “big woo-age.”
Meatloaf appropriately flatters the women regardless of age or marital status. He makes good conversation and is very helpful in selecting the right brew. He explains how the glaze on the sweet potato fries makes them the best you’ve ever eaten. He is an artist and some of his work is hung in the bar and restaurant area. He’s perceptive about who wants to talk and who wants to drink and eat in silence. And when you leave, he says goodbye in a way that convinces you he is truly sad to see you go.
You can go back for the beer or the food but I’m guessing lots of travelers go back for Meatloaf. He is an encore performer, the kind of person you’d like working for you regardless the business that you are in.
So here’s big woo-age to everyone’s friend Meatloaf.