acknowledge staff achievements

Photo courtesy of 드림포유(CC No Derivatives)

OK – this is obvious right? Whether it’s the office do, meeting up with friends and family, and generally eating and drinking too much, celebrating at this time year is what we all do. We all know Christmas and the festive season is a time to celebrate, so what are we talking about?

We’re talking about celebrating what’s happened in your organisation over the past 12 months and really recognising the successes. Too many leadership teams are often so busy looking forward to the next year they don’t take time to look back at what’s just happened. Yet doing this can be really rewarding and help make things even better next year.

You’ll find there’s usually plenty of things to shout about and properly celebrate. It doesn’t have to be the big things, like turning over more or making a bigger profit. Little wins, like a team working brilliantly together or a customer saying thank you to someone in your organisation are just as important, and definitely worth celebrating.

However, some leaders in organisations see taking time out to look back and recognise these small successes as a waste of time. They’re just focussed on ploughing ahead with working out what’s needed to make the organisation grow next year. And while that’s clearly important, just taking a bit of time to reflect and celebrate with people can actually help play a big part in moving things forward.

Here’s what we mean. People like being appreciated by those at the top. They like to be recognised for having done a great job. They’ve delivered a really good outcome for your organisation, worked hard and done a fantastic job all year, so thank them for it. It doesn’t matter how you recognise them, but if you do it, people will feel more valued and motivated to keep doing things brilliantly, which can only benefit your organisation in the long run.

Of course there’ll be times when not everything went well, but don’t be afraid to look back on these and learn from them too as the year comes to an end. Christmas and the New Year is sometimes a time for reflection as well as celebration. It’s easy to reflect back on your organisation’s year by asking a few simple questions: what went well? Why did it go well? What didn’t go so well? What can we learn for next time?

You’ll probably find people might not want to talk about the more negative side of things. But try and encourage them to, and tell them you’re all learning together. Flip them into a positive. Sometimes being thrown in the deep end and having to pick up new skills quickly is the best way to learn. Recognise people for that too.

So as 2016 comes to an end, it’s a time to look back as well as forwards. It’s been a strange year in many ways, but within your organisation, there’ll definitely be lots to cheer about. So let’s all take some time to celebrate this Christmas, both on a personal level with our nearest and dearest, and with those in our organisations.