I was speaking to someone recently who recounted a tale of the first boss she ever worked for. Whilst literally running around chasing deadlines in the high pressured environment of an advertising agency, her boss would walk through the office saying how she and her team must work harder to ensure they hit next month’s targets, and this just after the current month’s figures had shown a good profit.

The result was instant demoralisation, and I can understand why. In fact it’s a common theme – that whilst we’re all working hard, striving to achieve more sales, increased profits, more customers etc. we often fail to stop to appreciate and more importantly, to celebrate our current successes. It’s a missed opportunity to show recognition for good work, and to reward team efforts that in turn build stronger bonds, team co-operation and plenty of goodwill.

A little appreciation goes a long way

We all love to receive positive strokes; it’s what drives us, makes us feel valued and more willing to go the extra mile. Without it, we are merely ‘cogs in wheels’ feeling less inclined or incentivised to work harder and this will show in our behaviour and attitudes.

A little appreciation goes a long way towards retaining talent too. It keeps key skills in the business, makes for a happier workforce and boosts productivity.

Celebrations of success oil the wheels of change

In the 8 Steps for Positive Change by Dr John Kotter, Step 5 refers to the importance of recognition and reward for good work. During periods of change in particular, recognising even small steps and achievements on the road to bigger changes can help smooth the way. It puts leaders in a much stronger position to push on at times when there is potential for resistance. Nurturing goodwill makes it easier to draw on the support and motivation of a team when it’s needed.

With Christmas and the holiday season around the corner, no doubt we’re all looking forward to celebrating and having fun. It’s a time of year to look back on achievements, and be happy for our own successes and those of others. Life would be pretty dull without such occasions to add excitement and a sense of accomplishment in our lives. So, why not bring more of it into the workplace?

I challenge you to make 2018 a year of unprecedented celebration of all things great and small. See what a difference it makes!

Happy holidays!