Six Ideas for Team Recognition & Celebration That You Can Implement Today

No matter where you and your colleagues are working today, these four fundamentals remain constantly effective for team success:

  • Take time to recognize accomplishments.
  • Find ways to celebrate success.
  • Always be coaching and teaching.
  • Having fun is a good enabler of strong performance.

No matter where you and your colleagues are working today, these four fundamentals remain constantly effective for team success. Via @hchimoff. #teams #leadership #performance

Take this example from the 2021 New York Mets baseball team:

► “Afterward, the Mets partied as they do after every victory, sometimes bringing smoke machines and laser lights into the clubhouse. Each night, they name a player and a pitcher of the game and have them make short speeches. Following each win, the Mets like to recognize all who contributed. Following losses, they hold similar ceremonies to assure struggling players that they won’t be down for long.”

This is great stuff, and the underlying concept should not be dismissed because you think the tactics might be too silly or hokey. Even though the compensation of many (but not all) pro athletes totals in the $millions/tens of millions/hundreds of millions, they still focus on building camaraderie, nurturing the right environment for team success and not forgetting to have fun.

Those who have played organized sports understand the dynamics of what goes on in the locker room/clubhouse, during practices, and at free time and how that combined interpersonal relations mix can translate into both individual and collective performance success. Or the opposite.

The same concept is relevant and applicable in corporate settings. Recognition, celebration, coaching and injecting fun can be easily implemented with just a bit of effort. For example, here are six ideas:

  • Kudos. One company has a mechanism whereby colleagues can give “kudos” to fellow teammates and recognize them to the entire organization. Similarly, on LinkedIn, some leaders highlight direct reports and colleagues with a kudos-type graphic.
  • Verbal “High Five.” At the beginning of a team or group meeting, the leader, or any participant, can take a moment and offer recognition to a colleague.
  • Thank You Never Gets Old. Whether it’s a leader-direct report relationship or peer-to-peer interaction, don’t hesitate or skimp on communicating a simple, quick “thank you,” “well done,” “much appreciated,” “excellent work,” etc. in genuine words that will come across in a meaningful way to the recipient.
  • Game Balls. Collectible “game balls” have been common in sports for a long time. The underlying principle of recognizing success among peers with a tangible, sought-after item that can be proudly displayed is powerful and timeless. Consider a meaningful item that can be a “game ball” for your team and organization; one that can be easily personalized with a name and short description.
  • Real-time Coaching. Don’t wait for the annual performance review to give important feedback. Coach and teach when the occasion warrants. You want the “better” to happen tomorrow, not next year.
  • Physical Get-Togethers. When it was (and will be again) possible to gather colleagues in person, a celebratory meal or outing goes a long way to acknowledge and recognize performance and shared success, plus reinforce camaraderie.

Generating performance and success has possibly never been as hard and challenging as it is today. Put the recognition and celebration, along with some fun, back into the equation.

Six easy ways to implement recognition, celebration, coaching and injecting fun at your organization for team success. Via @hchimoff. #teams #leadership #performance


Harvey Chimoff is a customer-focused global business leader who connects marketing across the organization to drive performance and achieve business objectives. His B2B and CPG marketing expertise includes agribusiness, ingredients and food and beverage. Contact him at harveychimoff.com.

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