It is summertime here in Canada and that puts us in the mood to celebrate and appreciate the warmer weather!

How does your organization rank in the celebration and appreciation department?
With everything that leaders have on their plates it is easy to forget to pause and celebrate. After all, is it really that important?

A study from O.C. Tanner Company notes that nearly 80% of people who quit their jobs do so because of a lack of appreciation at work. The study goes on to identify the gap that exists between what companies think they are doing to show appreciation and what employees are experiencing; only 7% of employees say their company is excellent at appreciating great work and only 12% say they receive frequent appreciation.

An effective way to build loyalty and create truly engaged employees is to pay attention to what get’s celebrated. Purposeful celebration can have several benefits:

  • Connecting the ‘win’ to the business impact on the organization helps employees feel their contribution is valued and meaningful.
  • Tying individual and team achievements to the vision, mission and values of the organization helps employees feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.

In the book Eat That Cookie!: Make Workplace Positivity Pay Off…For Individuals, Teams, and Organizations, author Liz Jazwiec explains, “The bottom line is that workplace celebrations foster relationship building, improve morale, enhance retention, and encourage employees to achieve results.”

How can you build stronger relationships through celebration?

  1. Make it personal. Not everyone likes a ‘public’ celebration so ensure you celebrate in a way that honors the individual or team.
  2. Create a weekly ‘appreciation checklist’. Whose contribution needs to be appreciated this week?
  3. Add milestones and ‘celebration opportunities’ into your calendar. Make it part of your regular schedule.
  4. Celebrate a team’s success by having lunch brought in or planning a social activity.
  5. Introduce ‘walking celebrations’. Invite a team for a walk and share your appreciation of them and ask each individual to identify what successes they are currently experiencing in their role.

Everyone needs a bit of appreciation from time to time. When employees receive feedback that their contribution is valued and important it can increase loyalty and give them a stronger sense of purpose which benefits them and the organization.