published Sep 13, 2023
Running a business comes with a lot of pressure. With so much to achieve, there is often a thin line between productivity and burnout. How well you attain the former without the latter depends greatly on the strategies you employ to motivate yourself and your team.
One way to stay afloat is to celebrate victories as often as possible, even when they are not as big as you anticipated. This is because, no matter how hard you try, things may not always go according to plan. In fact, 20.8% of businesses in the US fail within the first year despite their attempts to stay afloat.
The fact that you are still thriving in business should be enough reason to celebrate. No matter how small and insignificant you think it is, a win is a win. With this article, we hope you see why you should recognize small wins at your company and celebrate them often.
The results you see in the workplace stem from the collective effort of many creative minds. From brainstorming to planning and the execution of strategies, there is a great deal of commitment and brainpower put into these tasks.
When you do not achieve the desired result in a transaction, it affects the entire organization. The business owner may feel that the company is not advancing, while employees feel hurt because of their sacrifices toward those goals. Thus, neglecting the small wins and focusing on the big things you couldn’t attain will affect your business adversely. If you’ve ever struggled with celebrating small wins in the workplace, the following reasons should help you change your mind:
1. Mistakes Aren't Failures—They Are One Step Closer to Success
Making a misstep gives you an idea of what to avoid in the future. However, if you choose to stop pushing after every mistake, you will remain stagnant. Over 84% of entrepreneurs and business owners globally believe mistakes are an avenue for growth.
Don’t see that wrong move as an obstacle; instead, dust yourself off, learn what you can, and prepare to come back even stronger. Success does not happen in isolated incidents. Rather, it results from consistent small efforts over time.
When you keep the big picture in mind, you can rest assured that you’re inching closer to your goals. You’ll be checking those big wins off your list before you know it. Don’t beat yourself up when it looks like you made a mistake. Instead, appreciate your team and their consistent efforts in growing the business. Let them know that their effort is a win worthy of celebration in and of itself. Remember: every positive result you achieve in the face of intermittent failures adds up.
2. Recognition Boosts Team/Company Morale
Everyone needs to feel valued and seen.
Showing appreciation for your employees boosts morale in the workplace. Research shows that at least 67% of employees rate commendation and praise from their boss as a top motivator over cash and other non-financial incentives.
Imagine having a team of workers you constantly celebrate and appreciate. You’d best believe they’ll be a force to be reckoned with and ready to take on new challenges. Staff appreciation is so important that there’s a whole day set aside to celebrate and appreciate employees worldwide—Employee Appreciation Day comes up on the first Friday in March every year.
You can take a cue from this and customize your Employee Appreciation Day. For starters, you might create an ecosystem for your team to enjoy small wins by presenting awards, prizes, or monetary rewards to members of your staff who have remained diligent and committed to their work.
Team recognition is just as important. As you applaud the whole team for their great work, identify each member's unique strengths and tell them how they are a valuable piece in a big puzzle. Simple acts like this will strengthen the team and help them work better. Don’t limit these celebrations to one day out of the year, however. Every day is a great day to appreciate your people!
3. Celebration Reinforces Common Goals/Alignment
Maintaining alignment is another major reason to celebrate small victories. Some managers in a recent study believed that 30% of the setbacks companies face stem from the failure to coordinate their employees across units. Another 40% claim problems arise from the failure of various teams to align.
In truth, many things can cause a team to lose sight of their common goals. It could be improper communication or a feeling of underappreciation. Either way, a team that lacks alignment cannot make headway.
To fix this, you can start by holding strategic meetings with your staff to reinforce the team spirit and ensure alignment. Take the time to refresh the minds of the staff regarding the company’s goals and mode of operation.
Cultivate a habit of gratitude and recognition by displaying it firsthand. Recognize and applaud the efforts your people have exhibited in the past. They’ll be more receptive to your instructions after you have taken the time to appreciate their work.
Above all, ensure that you are an active practitioner of all that you constantly teach them to do. Everyone can talk, but it takes a true leader to implement their teachings. By paving the way, your staff will start to imitate your actions, and alignment will become second nature.
4. Small Victories Act as a Benchmark for Broader Success
Every journey has its unique landmarks to pass to reach the final destination. Unfortunately, many leaders spend too much time and energy focusing on the opportunities they missed and the milestones they didn’t hit instead of setting smaller benchmarks for themselves and their teams.
Remember that achieving the greatest heights takes time. When you celebrate small wins, you build benchmarks that every team member will contend with and won't want to fall short of. Should the team fall below these standards, you won't need so many pep talks to let everyone know their performance isn't up to par.
Don’t view your learning and maturing process as a problem or setback. Enjoy the learning process and celebrate victories that come along the way. Stay focused on your end goal, but don’t ignore each hurdle you overcome. If you’re too concerned about your end result, you can lose sight of your small wins and become frustrated. Your desire to attain global recognition is valid and will become a reality when you celebrate your process.
5. Victories Can Enhance Employee Retention
Job hopping is on the rise, and many establishments have lost their highly esteemed staff to other companies that seem to have better offers. Everyone who has switched jobs at some point had a valid reason for doing so. At least 46% of workers in the US who have changed jobs said that they did so because they felt underappreciated by management. This shows that employee retention is no small feat, and companies need to up their game to keep their best people.
One employee retention strategy that many companies overlook is commendation. Put simply, recognition fuels people, and it breeds loyalty. Some managers who employ this strategy still get it wrong by celebrating only those who have done something “big.” No win is too small to be celebrated—even the slightest improvement that arises from an idea is worth the accolades.
83% of the participants in a survey believed that small wins can turn a bad day into a good one. A simple “well done” or “you're doing great” can be all the charge your employees need to have a productive day at work. Something so powerful should not be treated lightly.
Going Forward, How Will You Treat Small Wins?
Success is relative; a significant milestone for you might be a regular occurrence for someone else. Either way, success at all levels is a feat worth celebrating. So, instead of beating yourself up for not being “big” yet, choose to celebrate how far you’ve come.
The great status and success you admire in others did not happen overnight. You may not see the struggles and delays behind the glamor, but they’re there all the same.
Every good thing will come, but it will come to those who wait and prepare for it. At Foreword Companies, we take pride in helping executives, business owners, and entrepreneurs achieve their goals, one step at a time. We love celebrating victories, no matter their size. Click here to learn more about how we make businesses better.