Company Culture

How to Recognize and Celebrate Success at Work

When last did you raise a glass to the success of your company’s achievements? Celebrating milestones injects life into the organisation, making it worthwhile for employees to contribute to the long term success of the company. Defining success can be as simple as a praise for an individual's performance over a week or the overall success of the company over the past 12 months. Success should be whenever a colleague achieves a goal.  Personal efforts count when the achievement contributes to the team’s common goals. Basically, everything that gets done and contributes to the the mission of the team is a team success.

If you have a team member who has achieved something important in his/her roll, a celebration can be as simple as treating them to a lunch and discussing their success in detail. Understand what they loved about the success, how it made them feel and if there was space for possible improvement. Its likely that this person is passionate about their recent achievement, and will be incredibly open to talking about it. Celebration lead to establishing ritual that help to simply make it through a tough week. Camaraderie within an organization lead to higher employee moral and ensure that the most valued colleagues stick around for good.

Should team mates share success stories?

The stories employees tell about how they achieve a goal can be very helpful. They are the practical tips others can take up to solve similar problems. Others learn from the workflow of the success. In addition, success stories serve as an inspiration for others to excel. When team members share stories with each other, the team gets stronger because people get to know each other better.

Why should everyone recognize everyone else’s success?

Recognizing success is very powerful. employee recognition brings fulfilment because it reinforces the meaning of determination and collaboration. When you show your respect to another’s  achievement, you are likely to boost their esteem.

Moreover, a manager can motivate an employee a great deal by showing gratitude and appreciation towards the employee's accomplishments. Being motivated by the manager, they are likely to try harder and contribute more. Mutual respect brings forges stronger relationships and encourages employee engagement.

How to share and celebrate success

  • The story

Sharing success is like telling a story. You want to tell a good story that has an impact. You want to help and inspire people to achieve their own goals. Here is some tips for a good story:

  • Focus on useful content

You want your audience to take home practical tips. Think of the exact step-by-step that you have taken to achieve a goal. Share the steps as a tool to solve a similar problem.

  • Be inspirational and authentic

You want to inspire your audience to gain something for themselves. Think back of the obstacles, especially mental blocks, and how you overcame them. A story that talks to one’s feelings tends to have a stronger impact and stay longer in one’s mind.

Moreover, it is very important to try not to come across as being arrogant. You have all the rights to be proud of your achievement but avoid sounding snobby. It is best to stay authentic and down to earth.

The celebration

As manager, you should take time to celebrate a employee achievements. Show them that you do not take their hard work for granted. Besides, it is helpful to create an environment where team mates can easily recognize and celebrate each other’s success.

Here is some tips for you, as manager, to make a positive impact with recognizing employee achievement.

  • Do it soon  

The rule for recognition is that the earlier the better. Being manager, you should always know what is going on in your team. If your employees do something great, you should be the first to notice and the first to congratulate them. Come to them as soon as you can, for a handshake or a high-five. An official congratulation or a bonus can come later but there is no reason why you should wait to say thanks to an employee for his or her hard work.

  • Make it public

A public recognition is more powerful than a private one. You don’t have to put up a stage with flowers and stereo sound system every time, of course. But a compliment in public is far better at boosting one’s esteem than the same one sent via an email or even 1-on-1. A celebration only feels like a real one with a crowd and some level of noise. That is why we gather for fireworks to celebrate a new year or a national holiday. Well, I am not saying you should stock fireworks in your company’s basement. It works as well when you have a Wall of Fame with photos of your go-getters. You can also get a buzzer to hit when someone achieves something. As manager, you could hold weekly meeting(e.g.15 minutes of heroism) to make success acknowledgement official and public. Let’s share ideas below in the comment section.

Add a bonus or a token gift

A high-five or a handwritten thank-you note is great but more is in order in many cases. Rewards and hard work should go together. Depending on the level of achievement, a certain form of rewards is due. Why do you think the Nobel Prizes, the Pulitzer Prizes, the Oscars and many other awards exist?

It is important to reward your employees, so you should do learn to do it appropriately. It would be even better if you can do it in a creative and authentic way.

Rewards can come in all shapes and sizes, and can involve cash or non-monetary rewards. Traditional rewards often include a monetary bonus or a pay rise. Inarguably, most would be happy and motivated with a bigger paycheck. However, there are rewards that can be just as effective or even more impactful and cost the company far less. To name a few ideas:

  • A day-off pass to use for extra time off or flexible hours

  • A nice, long lunch to celebrate the achievement together

  • A voucher from a fine diner in town

  • A massage gift card


Do you have some good ideas?

Go an extra mile to find out what your employees like, what their hobbies are and what they are passionate about. For example, if an employee likes reading, a book signed by her favourite author will make a great gift. It shows that you can also go the extra mile to make her happy as she did with clients.

In brief

Building a great team is a challenging job. You should take pride in your team’s success. Take time and efforts to celebrate success with your people. Whenever one achieves a goal, acknowledge your appreciation timely and publicly. Never to forget a reward or a token gift. Recognize employee achievement and you will reap the rewards from their motivation and loyalty. Impraise gives employees and managers the ability to recognise the success of others, through constructive feedback and meaningful feedback. 


Looking for more ideas on how to motivate, engage and develop your team? Check out our free eBook.



Photo Credit: Alejandro Scaff