Mini milestones: Why they matter and how you should be celebrating them

We all know how debilitating to our motivation going through a setback can be, and why that makes it so important to celebrate the little everyday wins that happen along the way to achieving our bigger goals. We’re also well aware that rewarding those micro-achievements is what gives us the push we need to keep momentum going, and to stay feeling positive through the many more challenges that lie ahead.

But how often do we actually get around to ever doing this celebrating?

Many of us default to putting it on the backburner and letting other (perceivably more important) priorities take precedent. Either that, or we think we’re gonna have to tap into the company budget somehow, for a team lunch or a fancy party packed with activities, ambitious agendas, big prizes, and so on… all of which imply a whole bunch of planning, requests for approval, and the thing we usually all feel we are most short on – time.

But what if I were to tell you that none of that were true? That you could make a team member or your team as a group feel acknowledged and rewarded without having to sacrifice or do any of those things? Yep.

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Ok, on to my list of tips and things you can do to applaud a job well done by a specific team member or your team in general:  

#1 Use your words to express gratitude

It really is that simple. You’d be surprised how awesome it makes people feel when you go out of your way and your day and simply walk over to their desk to take a moment to express your admiration or appreciation for whatever it is they were able to accomplish. And it doesn’t always have to be a traditional “thank you for your hard work”, or a generic “well done!” type of kudos. The message still comes through and with a way stronger punch when delivered authentically. So if you’re impressed, show it: “Woahhh, awesome work Susan!”, “How did you get that done so quickly Linda?”, “Fantastic progress, Carol!”, and outro with your signature happy dance. Or if something you clearly couldn’t figure out on your own was achieved and you’re dying to know, just ask how! “Can you show me how you did that?!”, and so on. Bottom line is: communicate your enthusiasm, and do it authentically.

#2 Interrupt the day with a (VERY) short team meeting to rejoice

**Ding ding ding!**, ring a bell, gather the team around, and announce what was achieved. “Everyone!!! We need to take a minute to recognize that today, we accomplished (blank), and the key people that contributed to making that happen were (Dave), (Joe), and (Janet). Uh-mazing. So proud. Let’s keep this momentum going team!”.

Remember, the achievement could even be in the form of an employee simply receiving praise from a satisfied client/customer, so if that’s the case, read the testimonial aloud or just reiterate the jist of what was said, and why. This serves the additional benefit of providing a learning opportunity for fellow teammates.

#3 Get excited about your own victories and don’t be shy to share your story

As individuals we tend to constantly compare ourselves to others. Don’t. If you feel like something was a win for you, get excited about it and tell someone! That energy is contagious–and it helps others muster the confidence to own, feel happy about, and share something of their own that they may have felt they couldn’t pull off either.

With everyone synchronously basking in the glory of their victories, no matter how teeny, chances are that chipping away at that larger goal will feel less daunting, and the light at the end of the tunnel will get brighter. Before you know it you’ll all be celebrating the victory – the one everyone’s been working laboriously toward for months.

Reaching the greater overarching objectives is definitely a cause for celebration, but because they’re so rare it’s the incremental progress and mini-milestones that are critically important to acknowledge. That’s what will keep people continuing to feel engaged and motivated to keep on keeping on, especially when they are navigating a seemingly endless bout of stumbling blocks.

So tell us, what are you doing to celebrate small wins in your workplace? We’d love to hear from you and steal some of your ideas 😉 Leave a comment or connect with us!

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