As times change so does the way in which we note special occasions. We now have team members instead of ‘personnel’, and celebrations instead of what used to be unimaginatively called ‘office functions’.
Some of the benefits of celebrations are:
• They bring individuals together and create a community of people within the company.
• They remove barriers between management and team members, allowing everyone to socialize without hierarchical considerations.
• They can establish a connection between the history of the firm and the people who are now part of the team.
• They enable the firm’s values and vision to be communicated to members of the team in an informal way.
• They can be a safety valve where team members can let off steam and relax interpersonal conflicts.
• They create a forum that links pleasure with work.
When you have something to celebrate always consider sharing it with others in the organization. Celebrations can be good team-builders as well as make a big contribution to building a winning culture in your firm.
The reasons for celebrating are many. They include birthdays (even the company’s), reaching revenue targets, welcoming new members and saying farewell to retiring ones.
When a team member gets married or has a baby it’s an occasion for celebration. Milestones like ten years of service or promotions are also good subjects.
This doesn’t mean that the number of celebrations should be overdone. A special occasion must be seen by those participating as being truly special or its meaning will be lost.
Give some thought to just which events are worthy of celebration and note them on a calendar. You should allow a reasonable amount of time between dates, accepting that a few surprises are always going to happen.
Consider appointing a Director of Celebrations from the more outgoing team members. Someone who enjoys planning and is a good organizer is required for this role.
This is also better in that celebrations will be seen by the team as coming from within rather than something ‘the boss dreamed up’.
All celebrations won’t be the same because some events are more important than others. Some might be worthy of coffee and donuts while others deserve a dinner for everyone on the team. Try to involve partners in at least one occasion each year.
Some events should be paid for by the firm as a reward while others can be covered by everyone attending. The guidelines here can be flexible but if the firm has scored a new client or reached a revenue target it’s wise to have the business pick up the cost.
Whenever possible publicize celebrations well in advance so the team can make whatever arrangements are necessary to participate without hassles. An internal newsletter is very useful for this purpose. Another avenue of communications is a bulletin board placed where everyone can easily see it.
Remember that if a celebration takes place during business hours someone will always have to be ‘on call’ to answer the telephone so it might be necessary to rotate this role between everyone on the team so one person doesn’t get stuck with it all the time.
Celebrations don’t have to be hugely expensive occasions. It helps to designate a corner of the office where there’s a bit of space as a place for the occasional presentation of a birthday card or other low-key celebratory event. Nobody objects to ten or fifteen minutes away from their desks at such moments.
Even if a small business can’t afford to take everyone out to lunch you can present the person being honored with a nice card (signed by all the team members) and a gift certificate for a night out.
Celebrations are a way of saying ‘thank you’, a way of recognizing achievement, and just a way of getting the team together when something special has happened. You’ll enjoy them as much as your team will.
Article courtesy of RAN ONE: http://www.ranone.com/press_room/news.asp?ID=3916