In the competitive business climate we find ourselves in today, which is being super-charged with the added pressure to keep up with the rapid changes in technology (and their resulting ramifications), there is a relentless pressure to meet new individual and corporate goals, after new goals. One of the casualties of a “your past performance doesn’t matter, you need to achieve your new goals” is burn out for volunteers and employees (depending on what kind of organization you are with). They never feel like they have achieved anything because there is always stretch goad demand for performance upon them. It must be how a racing greyhound dog feels chasing a mechanical rabbit – you really achieve a success AND you never have time to CELEBRATE.
With that idea in mind, I found this excerpt from “The Intangibles of Leadership” by Richard A. Davis, PhD very insightful:
“Celebrating wins lets your team know when they have satisfied expectations. The absence of such celebrations creates the perception that nothing they do is ever good enough–that no one can satisfy you no matter what they do or how much they achieve. This can lead to unintentional and highly damaging messages: ” Nobody is as good as me,” and “Nobody will ever meet my expectations.”
Celebrations need not be elaborate affairs. A public pat on the back is sufficient; so is an e-mail blast. Your goal, as a fallible leader is to recognize and acknowledge when a milestone has been achieved.
Find out what people have done and give specific recognition. A few years ago at RHR, our CEO started to send out “In Case You Haven’t Heard” e-mails to everyone in the firm to acknowledge noteworthy efforts or achievements, including what the situation was, what the person did, and the outcome. The e-mail would not only point to what the consultant had done and why it was successful, but also how it aligned with the firm’s strategy and benefited everyone in the organization as a whole. It may be just an e-mail, but it speaks volumes and sends a powerful leadership message.”
Leaders, let me encourage you to take the time with your management team, or your board to recognize the achievements and hard work of your entire staff. From your top-level executives to various coordinators, every person performs a needed function if an organization is going to be successful. Celebrating accomplishments and hard work goes a long way in building and sustaining morale.