October 24, 2016

Creating Community Part 5 – Corporate Celebration


Do you take time to celebrate team successes? Do you take time to celebrate people? Do you look for a reason to gather and have fun?

Last week we looked at creating a growth mindset on your team; we never want to settle for status quo.  This week we will look at possibly the most fun part of creating community – Corporate Celebration.

Do you take time to celebrate team successes?  Do you take time to celebrate people?  Do you look for a reason to gather and have fun?  There is not really a wrong way to do celebration, and it can take on many forms.  It might mean celebrating a birthday or marriage.  It might mean celebrating the accomplishment of a long-worked-for goal.  It could be a cookout to which all your team member’s families are invited.  The main thing is to take time to celebrate!

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

  • Budget time and money – Make sure you plan ahead and are prepared to celebrate well. Is it really worth a 30-minute break in the work day every now and then to build community?  You bet it is!
  • Celebrate the big and small – Every celebration doesn’t have to include the whole team. Did someone on your team just finish a graduate degree?  Did someone reach a personal development milestone?  Recognize the achievement and celebrate with him or her. A congratulatory cup of coffee can do wonders for your team’s morale.
  • Celebrate people, not just accomplishments – In my office, we have a monthly birthday celebration for anyone who has a birthday in that given month. This may mean breakfast on our office front porch or a dessert buffet ready to be enjoyed when everyone comes back from lunch.  One very creative person on our team creates a custom birthday card for each person.  We take joy in celebrating each other and making each person feel special. Wedding and baby showers can happen at work, too (for men and women)!
  • Make it meaningful – Some people like to be celebrated publicly; others do not. Know your team members well enough to celebrate each in a meaningful way.  One member may greatly appreciate a hand written note left on his or her desk.  Another may be greatly encouraged by a personal lunch invitation. Every celebration does not need to be a party.  Make it personal.

Another important aspect of Corporate Celebration happens when a team member has suffered a heart-wrenching loss.  Look for ways to come alongside those struggling with loss and just be there for them.  Although this is not a time for celebration in its most common sense, it is a time for celebrating the bonds among team members. Some of the most community building and meaningful times are prompted by shared sorrow.  At times, you may be able to help; you can offer help after a house fire or bring meals to a grieving family.  Other times, people just need you to be present.  Silent presence can say so much to those who have suffered loss.  Live life together through the good and bad.  This is true community.

By Russell Sarratt

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