There are three main types of “wins” that you should be acknowledging.
- Internal Wins
- External Wins
- Personal Wins
These are the projects or milestones that your company/organization achieves. They can be small – sending out a newsletter on time – or big – reaching a new fundraising goal – but no matter what, you need to take the time and celebrate.
Come together and go to breakfast. Get some coffee. Have a company happy hour. Do some kind of team building activity. Whatever it is, come together, acknowledge one another’s effort, and why you appreciate it. You did something together. Something worked well! Figure out what it is and how you can keep it up.
Celebrate with your clients and stakeholders! When you have helped a client get something they needed, or helped them provide better for their clients, take the time to put your party hats on and celebrate together!
Write thank you notes, emphasize the wins in an email, go to dinner or happy hour, organize an activity, or buy them a small gift of appreciation. If you really want to impress them, give them a social media love letter via a gif, video, or photo post (and be sure to tag them so they see it!). Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the triumph you have made together.
How’s that creepy saying go from The Shining? “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Don’t be like Jack.
Take that vacation! When you’ve worked hard to achieve something, whether that is finishing a professional training course, giving a great presentation, learning a new skillset on your own, meeting a deadline that was a bit challenging..etc. be sure to take the time to celebrate the hard work you put in.
Take a little longer of a lunch. Take a day off. Go on a trip. Get a massage. Bring in some treats to share with your coworkers. Whatever self-care makes you feel best, don’t ignore your personal achievements. You need to take the time and truly appreciate what you have done.
If you move directly on to the next project, you’re missing out on the opportunity to reflect and think about how and why you were able to achieve what you just did. Don’t miss the learning opportunity.
As a human, you are hardwired to learn very quickly from all your experiences. If you work on something difficult and you don’t take any time to appreciate it and enjoy it when you achieve something, you learn that hard work isn’t rewarding. It’s just an opportunity for harder work. Stop, slow down, reflect on your achievement, and encourage yourself to continue to work hard.
Why you should celebrate
Life is short. If you’re like most of us, you spend the majority of your time working. Making work as rewarding as possible will not only keep your morale up, but that of your coworkers as well. With our short lives, there is no such thing as too many reasons to celebrate. So give the lives of those around you and your own life meaning – celebrate often.
Anxiety reduction – if you’re always putting your happiness on the other side of a major goal or milestone and don’t take the time to stop and enjoy successes, then you’ll always be in a state of stress and dissatisfaction. (This 12 minute TedTalk from Shawn Achor The Happy Secret to Better Work is one of my favorites and is about happiness at work.) Cortisol builds up in the body and make you gain weight and become less productive. By celebrating wins, you won’t always feel like happiness is just around the corner – you’ll get to stop and soak it in.
Bonding – this will help your team connect (or will help you connect to yourself). It will help you connect to your clients. We are a very social species and crave attention and recognition from others. When you give someone a compliment, you are building a healthy, trusting relationships. It makes people feel good and, in the end, when people feel good about themselves because of something you said, they feel good about you and are likely to be loyal.
So get out there, keep grinding and working hard, but live with joy and take time to celebrate wins, big and small.
What is a recent achievement that you’re happy about? How did you celebrate it? Let me know in the comments and we can celebrate together! (I’ll also give you a shout-out on my Twitter account!)
Thank you for reading, I hope you found value in this post.