Learn to celebrate success

Celebrating success and showing that your team experiences success is one of the most important things a team can do. But why? And when to do so? First, let’s take a look what success really means.
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Learn to celebrate success

Celebrating success and showing that your team experiences success is one of the most important things a team can do. But why? And when to do so? First, let’s take a look what success really means.

The accomplishment of a goal

Weather something can be called a success is pretty measurable. First step: set a goal. Second step: define when the goal his reached. Third step: when the work is done, check if the goal is reached. If yes, it’s fair to say we had success. Of course there is a gray zone, where the work that is being done can show the goal has to be changed a bit. To put it in Agile terms; inspect and adapt. That the original goal might not be reached can be seen as a success as well. After all, we are capable enough to step of the planned path and redefine the road we must take. We are comfortable enough to say “we learned that the way we thought it would work, in fact doesn’t work. Let’s change our goal to fit the new desires and circumstances”. Especially when working in a value-driven environment this can be seriously beneficial. The customer and/or end user sees that you understand them and take their wishes seriously. 
But does the goal always have to be the work delivered to the customer? Definitely not. A goal can also be stepping out of your comfort zone, learning a new programming language, delivery a presentation, whatever your personal goal may be. 

Strengthen your team with success stories

Have you ever read a book, seen a movie or maybe a vlog that really got you excited and inspired? Sharing your (relevant) success stories can have a similar effect on your team members. Maybe you discovered a way that makes work for everyone a lot easier. Showing that you care about the team and it’s performance can help others excel in their work. 

Maybe you as a Scrum Master or Product Owner spoke to some stakeholders and got completely new insights that will improve the way your planning sessions will be handled. The technique you used to get these insights was new and will be the new standard. The entire team can benefit from your experience. 

Acknowledge someone else’s success

Everyone likes a little appreciation every now and then. Recognizing someone else’s effort and hard work will light him/her up. Boosting someone’s self-esteem makes his/her day and will be motivated even more to keep up the good work. When I was in a program to prevent getting a burn-out, one of the main goals was to seek what I want in my job, what makes me feel good. One of them was getting recognized for my work, which made me feel good about myself. My coach referred the Maslow’s hierarchy to me, in which esteem comes in second of most important intrinsic needs of a human being. 
This in turn also creates more security and a stronger bond between team members, reinforcing the team’s overall strength.

Now let’s celebrate

But how? Do we want to put out the garlands and balloons? Are we going to the zoo for a day with the entire team? Both great options. Also try to put them in their context. Going all out for successes with smaller impact might raise eyebrows within the organization. 
You’d want to acknowledge someone else’s success as soon as possible and celebrate it later when the time is appropriate. Shake their hand, give them a hug or whatever makes them feel good about themselves. Put out the drinks later.
Speaking of which; having a drink with the team and having a small party demonstrating or telling the story about the success in an open area within the organization can be very contagious in an organization that struggles to adopt celebrating success or working the way you do. Your coworkers will want to work in teams that enjoy working together the way you do. Show them the way to do it. Lead by example!

Rewarding the team with more extrinsic means can work just as well. Here are some ideas: 

  • Take the team out to a sports event or escape room (beneficial to the teamwork as well) 
  • Individually reward them with a gift card
  • Go out for diner 
  • Recognize the team effort in the company newsletter (preferably with pictures)

Everyone will enjoy the celebration

So in short, you, the team and the organization can benefit from your team celebrating it’s success. People will go the extra mile to put in the work because it makes them feel good. The team’s moral will be boosted and this will result in better quality of overall work. I can’t stretch this enough; celebrate your success!  

This blog will be posted on www.agilitymasters.com 
 

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