One of my favorite things to do as a leader is to celebrate my team’s success. It’s so much fun! But make no mistake, celebration can also be a business-enhancing productivity tool. Here’s how…

Celebration is fun for the team.

Celebrating team success can — and should — be fun for the team. And who doesn’t want more fun at work?

While “having fun” with your team may sound frivolous, celebrations can help employees feel recognized for their excellent work. That recognition can translate to higher employee engagement, which, in turn, can lead to better productivity, lower turnover and higher customer satisfaction. And this can lead to a boost in your team’s bottom line.

But not everyone enjoys the same type of celebration. Fun for some team members might be going to a sporting event, while to others it might be going to a concert. Some might prefer a catered lunch at the office, while others might like going out for happy hour. Or free coffee in the cafeteria versus a game of Frisbee golf. You get the picture.

The only way to really know is to ask your team. And if there are different preferences, change things up.

Management by Celebration: the fun way to get great results from your team! #celebration #highperformingteams #leadershipskills Click To Tweet


Celebration reinforces the right behaviors.

Leaders who celebrate with their teams help them understand the kind of behaviors and results that should be celebrated. It’s important to help the team make the link between what’s being celebrated and the celebration itself, especially for workers who are new to the workplace or new to working, in general.

And according to Your Brain at Work by David Rock, focused attention, especially in a social context, helps create new connections in the brain. With these new connections, team members will know what to pay attention to in order to get the right results.

Don’t hesitate to ask your team about how they achieved their success. Looking back on both the “what” and the “how” will help them recreate conditions most likely to lead to goal achievement.

Celebration gives the team an opportunity to reflect and energize.

When you have a high-performing team, it’s easy to gloss over celebration in order to get to the next thing. And the next thing.

Taking the time to celebrate a milestone your team has achieved is like pausing to take in the view on the way to the summit. It gives people a break to recognize and appreciate how far they’ve come and gives them energy for the next big push.

High performers are often focused on their ultimate goal, and it may take time (and practice) for them to see the value of celebrating along the way. Some may even feel that celebration before the final goal is complete is somehow cheating. Challenge these employees to experiment with mid-course celebration and observe both the outcomes and how the team feels about them. My bet is they’ll find this new celebration practice more effective than they expected it to be.

In the end, celebration is fun for both team members and leaders. It reinforces behaviors that lead to success, and it gives the team a chance to reflect and prepare for their next achievement.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate your team’s results? Let us know in the comments below!

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