It is easy to celebrate the achievement of specific goals or milestones as a single and discreet event. However, to achieve that goal or milestone, the team had to work together, communicate, share ideas, manage conflict, help and support each other, and even deal with uncertainty at times in the project.
Celebrating and acknowledging teamwork as a process is just as important as celebrating the end result. It is not uncommon for a company to provide a bonus or some other type of tangible recognition at the end of a team project. However, there are very good reasons to celebrate the team working together, particularly through a challenging part of the project. By celebrating both small and large wins for the team, leaders can build a culture of teamwork and collaboration at all levels and on all types of projects.
When leaders in an organization stay in touch with their teams and the individual team members, they are more aware of the small victories the team achieves along the way. This allows the leadership to send an email, a quick message, or even drop in on a team meeting, even virtually, to recognize the team for working through the challenge or obstacle.
This is important as these obstacles and challenges are often the things that create conflict and stress for the team. When the team sees that leadership values even small movement forward, they are more motivated to continue to work together.
Let the Team Recognize Individuals
Providing some type of platform for the team to recognize individuals is always a positive. Some companies provide message boards or areas within their project management or collaborative software platforms to give “shout outs” or “high fives” to a team member that did something extra or that went out of her or his way to help a colleague.
Work with Teams to Develop Celebrations
Just as teams tend to thrive when they set their own goals, they often have their own ideas of what would be a meaningful celebration. Talking to the team and getting their input on what they would like to do or how they want to be recognized is another way to build in team culture and provide small and large celebrations throughout the project.
Recognize All Team Members
While this may seem obvious, it is easy just to highlight the team or project leader in recognition or celebrations. Look for ways to involve the complete team, including any support staff involved in the project.
Team celebrations should be a focus for upper management. Taking the time to attend these events and to personally recognize all team members is a simple but effective way to celebrate success throughout the organization.