Lesson from the WorkQuake™ Coach’s Corner: Party Hearty!

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” Dale Carnegie

As we wrapped up our coaching call, an executive and mother of two boys, ages 5 and 6, mentioned it was the last day of school and she was on her way to pick her boys up to take them to McDonald’s for an end of school celebration lunch. When I commented they would like that, she replied, “No. Because we are scheduled to leave on a family vacation on Monday, the boys don’t want to take time to celebrate. Instead they want to go straight home and begin packing.” However, mom was insistent the three of them take the time to specifically celebrate the boys’ achievement of successfully completing the school year! I have to applaud this astute mother and businesswoman for recognizing the importance of celebrating her sons’ achievements.

And her thinking applies as much to the business world as it does to family matters. In today’s pressurized, time-starved, bottom line workplace, we often forget, decide we don’t have the time, or, amidst all the gloom and doom we are exposed to every day, feel there is no reason to celebrate our achievements or the achievements of others. This is a serious mindset mistake! Instead of trying to avoid opportunities to celebrate, we need to be actively seeking them out! And the tougher the times, the more we need to celebrate our own achievements and the achievements of others. Here’s why:

1. Celebrating is about Reenergizing! Because most work follows the same daily routine, aka “the rut,” doing the same stuff over and over again (i.e. lunch with the same co-workers day after day, the same conversation only with different clients), people get bored or just wear down. They inherently crave something fun, interesting and exciting to make the work feel more purposeful. A celebration is the interruption in the routine that acts as shot of adrenaline, pumping everyone up and reenergizing them.

2. Celebrating is about Connecting! Celebration establishes positive common ground and allows the opportunity to strengthen relationships with others in a casual, less stressful environment. It also develops a sense of belonging amongst members of a team.

3. Size Does Not Matter! While it’s important to celebrate milestones – birthdays, anniversaries, surviving another year of school – it is equally important to have celebrations for smaller reasons such as finishing a project, getting a new client, or making a sale. Any success can be a reason to celebrate!

4. Celebrating Generates Caring not just Doing! Celebrations recognizing success, effort or saying “thanks for a job well done” keep employees happy, motivated and engaged. This positive energized attitude increases productivity, loyalty and job satisfaction, while generating an attitude of caring and not just doing.

5. Variety is “the spice of life”! As long as appropriately recognizing achievement (don’t hold a Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade style celebration unless the achievement calls for it!) and showing appreciation is the celebration’s message, it doesn’t matter when you celebrate – beginning, during, or end of the week – or how you celebrate – an after work gathering at the local bar, pizza at lunch, or donuts in the morning. The secret to great celebrations is spontaneity and mixing it up!

The Lesson: At least once a week show your appreciation for those who support you by finding something to celebrate. And have some fun while you’re at it!

P.S.: And if you can’t find at least one thing to celebrate each week, other than sheer survival, it’s definitely time to find another job!