Why you should celebrate your business’ little wins


Australian tech powerhouse Atlassian does it. So does Salesforce, winners of the 2016 Great Places to Work award.

They take time to celebrate accomplishments, both large and small.

“It’s part of our culture. We try really hard to celebrate wins,” Atlassian APAC recruiting boss Caitriona Staunton says.

But celebrating wins isn’t just about back-patting – it’s a vital way for you and your staff to connect.

When business researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer set out to learn what kept people motivated at work, they discovered a simple answer. They called it the progress principle.

“The more frequently people experience [a] sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run,” they write. “Whether they are trying to solve a major scientific mystery or simply produce a high-quality product or service, everyday progress – even small wins – can make all the difference in how they feel and perform.”

In short, celebrating small wins boosts morale and motivates you and your team.

Here are some simple ways you can make celebrations part of your positive workplace culture.

Create a positive workplace culture by celebrating each other

Look for wins across your business

Wins can be anything from completing tax paperwork to hiring a new staff member.

Workplace relationship specialist Ken Warren says too many managers focus exclusively on their challenges.

“We gain a more balanced (and helpful) perspective when we also focus on what is right,” he says.

Celebrate the right way

Celebrating small wins can be as simple as praising a team member. Feeling recognised at work makes employees happier and more productive.

Warren says one of the major issues employees have is feeling underappreciated.

“A lack of positive feedback is really demotivating,” he says. “In a Gallup survey of 20 million workers, more than two thirds said they don’t get sufficient recognition. So it’s a no brainer to reduce staff turnover.”

You can counter this by taking a minute a day to praise an employee.

For bigger wins – like a new contract or client – you might consider a team lunch or a small gathering in the office.

Celebrating your business' wins with a social gathering

Make your team closer

Businesses where staff are unhappy or in conflict are businesses in trouble. Celebrating together is a circuit breaker that lets you iron out issues before they arise.

Warren says celebrating is a proven way to bring everyone in the business closer together.

“Humans are social animals, so it strengthens relationships when we connect in ways that are not always work-related,” he says. “Breaks from the routine also help us to recharge.”

A great way to boost the team building during a celebration is to give a short speech where you acknowledge the success – and mention what each staff member has done to get you there.