It's the end of the year, the time when managers are making plans for the new year, plans around budgets and goals. Kick-off meetings, sales conferences and strategy sessions are already planned for the first couple of weeks in January. We barely pause to review how much we've accomplished this year as we hurry to get through the last days of the year. “Forward, onward” seems to be the mantra for success and we wear it as a badge of honor.
We easily forget that December 31st also marks the end of a year, a year full of accomplishments and lessons. It provides a perfect opportunity to look back upon the past year and celebrate all your achievements. “Plural you”, that is. Celebrating the achievements of you and your team is both rewarding and surprisingly cheap. It is readily available and endless in supply, it doesn’t require planning, workshops or expensive consultants. Just do it!
Some managers believe that by celebrating accomplishments, it will generate complacency and a feeling of “We made it, so we’re done” in their employees. They think it signifies laziness and mediocrity, but that has not been our experience. Most work places continue to push and are ambitious, driving their employees towards a new goal. That won’t change just because we take out a few hours to celebrate what has been accomplished. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a better ROI for your team than taking the time to celebrate the victories and thank everyone for their contributions.
We call it “We did it”, a Fire & Shield tool designed to build “Shield” in an organization where people are under very high pressure and are stressed out. “We did it” means that we list all our achievements and celebrate them. We give praise to our team for all they have accomplished. Looking back and recognizing makes us realize how much we are capable of, which builds confidence and lowers stress. It provides the team with the "Shield" needed to accomplish bigger and better things in the New Year.
So, if you want a flying start to 2018, take an hour or two during the first week of January to celebrate 2017. Make a list with your team of everything that you've accomplished together in 2017, both the successes and the learning experiences, and celebrate every single item on that list.
Happy New Year and Thank You 2017!