During this strange time we are living in, most are being pulled in multiple directions. You would think working from home would mean a higher level of work-life balance. For some, that is true, but for others, it is the complete opposite. Are you able to ignore the dirty dishes in the sink, or the laundry that needs to be put away? Those little things you have been meaning to do for weeks. If you have kids or furry friends at home with you, that is a whole new level of distraction. Their little minds just can’t comprehend what the term “I am working right now” really means. Younger kids have no reference for time as a lot of us have recently found. Staying actively engaged with multiple distractions is hard. But recognition is one way to keep your staff motivated and engaged.

As leaders, we have learned a lot during this pandemic. Where we have had to turn up the volume on a lot of skills. Leadership, communication and now we need to add recognition. In times of uncertainty, people crave more communication and reassurance. Recognition falls under the reassurance category. Employees need that recognition of what they are doing well now more than ever. If you are a leader, don’t forget to recognize success and celebrate during this difficult time. 

When we interview managers and supervisors and ask them why they don’t spend more time recognizing and celebrating successes on their team, most times we are told the following two reasons.

  1. Too Busy. In this world today, most of us are spending our time doing a lot more with a lot fewer team members as organizations are having to work at a reduced capacity. When you are too busy getting your day-to-day functions completed, it makes sense that taking time to recognize and celebrate success needs to be sacrificed in order to get the job done.
  2. Putting Out Fires and Solving Problems. Most people like to work pro-actively. During the pandemic, it is a survival mode of reactive response. It becomes the number one priority to put out the immediate fire or solve a problem.

It is a challenge to celebrate or recognize success when you are too busy, spending most of your time putting our fires, or you are not happy with your current level of accomplishment. Here are four tips to help you become a leader who does an outstanding job recognizing and celebrating success.

  1. Clear Positive Vision: Leaders need a clear positive vision of how success is defined for your team, department or organization. Will your success be defined by outstanding internal and external customer service; great teamwork; record sales and profits…or all of the above? When you know the target, it is easier to celebrate and recognize success when results are on target.
  2. Be Grateful: When you are grateful for the honor of being able to lead a group of people who have made the conscious decision to follow you, it is easier to find and acknowledge success on your team. Even on bad days when everything is going wrong, grateful leaders will find something positive to acknowledge.
  3. Make it a Habit: Habits are created by the repetition of thoughts that are turned into actions. If each day, you find someone’s success to recognize and/or celebrate, eventually you will be a leader who finds it easy to take the time to recognize others and celebrate their success.
  4. Start off Positive: A great tip is to start off every team meeting by asking this question, “Since the last time we met, what has/is going well or right?” It is a great opportunity for you, as a leader, to learn from others on your team what they feel is worthy of recognition or celebration. And, this tip will raise the spirit and lead to a much more positive meeting, even if you have to talk about tough topics.

Remember, in times of high levels of change, people need even more leadership, communication and recognition. There are two side benefits of adopting these four keys to celebrating success. The first benefit is when people feel well recognized because you honored or celebrated their success. They are much more willing to support you as the leader in helping the organization change and become even more successful. The second benefit has to do with the law of attraction. The more you honor others by recognizing and celebrating success, the more others will find reasons to honor you by recognizing and celebrating your success.

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