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Three creative ways to celebrate employee success

Engagement | Communication

Posted on: Wednesday January 25, 2023

When time is scarce, it’s easy to forget to say thank you. But a bit of appreciation – whether it’s a quick word or a thoughtful reward – goes a long way when it comes to building a happy and engaged team. 

A business’ success relies on the strength of its team. And when employees are working hard, it’s important to recognise both their personal achievements and the wider contributions they make to the company. Employee recognition – the timely acknowledgement of an employee’s great work, either publicly or in a 1:1 setting – will encourage and reinforce behaviour that helps an organisation reach its goals, but it also helps to build confidence and fulfilment in employees.

In this article, we cover the value of celebrating employee success – and how to do it right.

Why is it important to celebrate employee success?

According to a recent study, around three in four UK employees feel they deserve more recognition for the work they do. And a fifth of UK workers feel they get less recognition as a direct result of working remotely.

When employees feel overlooked, it comes at a significant cost – both for them personally and for their employer. Employees that don’t feel appreciated are more likely to lose faith in their company’s core values and are twice as likely to experience a decline in their mental health. This, when experienced for prolonged periods, can result in disengagement and employee burnout – increasing the likelihood of resignation.

However, with careful strategic planning and partnership, it’s possible to deliver a good reward and recognition programme. This can help boost staff retention, improve employee engagement and generate higher levels of productivity.

So, how should you decide what to celebrate?

A successful recognition programme will recognise that it’s important to celebrate big and small wins, from project completions to work anniversaries – or simply going above and beyond to make a colleague’s life easier.

The key is to make sure there are plenty of opportunities for all team members to be recognised for their achievements, even if they’re not working on critical projects. A celebration-worthy contribution might look like any of the following:

  • A first win for a new employee
  • An action that aligns with company values
  • An exceptional piece of work
  • A period of consistently good work

Three creative ways to celebrate success

Every company does employee recognition differently – and the type of celebration will depend on the achievement and the team or individual involved. However you choose to celebrate, it’s important that the right communication technique is used.

Here are three creative approaches to showing your appreciation:

Create a culture of recognition

Recognition doesn’t always need to come from the management team. Many companies benefit from building a culture of regular and timely feedback that encourages peer-to-peer recognition, with shout-outs in meetings or via an internal communications channel like Slack.

These micro-celebrations help boost team morale and can also shine a spotlight on an organisation’s unsung heroes.

Use an achievement as a springboard for career growth

When asked how they would prefer to receive recognition for their work, 53.4% of employees stated in-person conversation. And 45.8% listed further opportunities for career growth.

There’s a time and a place for celebratory drinks and gift vouchers, but the research shows that more often, employees are looking for their accomplishments to count towards something bigger.

Consider inviting an employee for an in-depth discussion about their achievement, or rewarding them with a training course, certification or potential promotion.

Give the gift of a shared and savoured celebration

Experts say that “celebration is an important opportunity to cement the lessons learned on the path to achievement.”

And yet, it’s all-too-easy to rush past our accomplishments as we move onto the next looming deadline. Recognising this, and encouraging employees to spend quality time celebrating their successes, will ensure that the reward goes deeper.

You could book a dinner or activity with their team or offer vouchers for a weekend away. Being able to share their success, either with colleagues or loved ones, is a great way to honour the achievement and contribute to employee wellbeing.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t be shy about it – clearly communicating your intentions to celebrate employee success will empower others to do the same within your team. And be consistent: the only thing worse than no recognition is an initiative that fizzles out after one week.

To find out more about how to improve your employee wellbeing, get advice from a Personal Group Benefits Expert or subscribe to more of our blogs


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