Workplace Celebrations Aren’t Just Fun – They Drive Engagement
Quantum Workplace’s 2013 Employee Engagement Trends Report defines engagement as advocacy, or the level at which employees advocate for their employers, plus the level of discretionary effort they put forth, plus their intent to stay with the organization. Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith, writing for Forbes about global talent management issues, says engagement is about social connections and aligning work with cultural needs. She goes on to discuss ways the best places to work for demonstrate appreciation for contributions, including the importance of workplace celebrations.
What Employees Want
Quantum Workplace asked employees what types of recognition they like and want the most and if they thought it was given enough or not enough. Across the board, all types of employees, from engaged to contributing to disengaged to hostile, ranked a pay increase as their number one preference for recognition. No surprise, praise from a direct manager, more flexibility with work and opportunities to learn and advance rank high too. Team celebration ranked as an important form of recognition, making it a valuable tool in sustaining engagement.
The Role of Workplace Celebrations
The jaded employer with a busy workforce and ambitious business goals may think workplace celebrations are a waste of time that is better spent on work activities. But Janice Holly Booth, writing about workplace celebrations for LifeReimagined, says celebrations energize employees and get them recharged to go back to their work refreshed and ready to perform even better. Celebrations strengthen employee engagement, build team camaraderie, and reduce negative behaviors. First Book CEO Kyle Zimmer believes even celebrating mistakes strengthens teams and companies. He says it encourages calculated risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirit, and fresh ideas to celebrate when workers try something new even if it fails. He adds another important caveat about workplace celebrations: “there’s no substitute for spending time with people. So don’t be that jaded employer who doesn’t believe in pizza parties or celebrating small successes.”
ROI of Workplace Celebrations
While starting his supermarket sushi business, Philip Maung was inspired by the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and realized that not everything is about money. He found low and no-cost ways to throw employee celebrations like a game of kickball or an inexpensive birthday cake when the occasions warranted them. The best workplace celebrations allow management to spend time with employees and get to know them better. Celebrating the team, doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. It’s an opportunity to publically show appreciation to staff and it pays off by re-energizing workers, and giving people the time to bond and become part of something bigger than themselves. It builds the fabric of your emotional culture and that’s not something that money can buy.
Learn more about the benefits of celebrating employees by downloading our FREE Guide to Workplace Gratitude. Click the image below and start sharing your gratitude today!
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