Celebrate – often!

People cheering Would you go to a game and wait until your team won to cheer? Building an organization (or division, function, or team) that consistently delivers great customer experiences takes focus, work and unwavering commitment. Celebrating progress along the way is essential (and it sure makes things a lot more fun!). Whether the wins are big or small, celebration provides some significant benefits:

  • First, it leads to a “mindset of success.” Acknowledging the achievement of even small milestones puts success front and center. Success in moving things forward becomes both familiar and a foundation to build on.
  • It helps all see the big picture. When you celebrate achievements, it gives you an opportunity to take stock of how your initiative is helping customers, employees and your organization. It’s an opportunity to emphasize the overall mission.
  •  It is a motivator. Employees of all generations want to do work that’s worthwhile. Celebrating milestones, especially when done in light of the bigger picture, reinforces the value of their contributions.
  • And, celebrating builds team spirit. Having your team take a breather from work to celebrate progress is a great way to build esprit de corps, which leads to unity of purpose.

The most successful leaders don’t fall prey to the most-cited reasons why celebration doesn’t happen. One of them: “I’m sure people know that we’re on target.” However, your employees are likely working on different aspects of your customer experience initiative. They may not have insight into whether you’re on target or not.

Another misconception is, “People will get complacent if they think things are going well.” Actually, celebrating wins motivates, and prevents complacency. It’s dead wrong to assume you have to achieve a large goal in order to celebrate.

And the biggest (and most understandable) excuse, of course: “There’s not enough time.” But there’s always enough time to do the things that matter most. A central responsibility of leadership is to keep your team engaged and working towards the right goals. There’s tremendous power in celebration, especially when it is focused on the positive impact you are having on customers. Remember the game—don’t wait for the elusive closing buzzer (does it even exist?). Find ways to celebrate now!

Excerpt from Leading the Customer Experience: How to Chart a Course and Deliver Outstanding Results by Brad Cleveland.