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It’s no secret that celebrating milestones and achievements in the workplace is a proven way to help both individuals and teams stay motivated and feel recognised. Studies have shown time and time again if employees feel appreciated and empowered, they are much more likely to excel in their roles and deliver superior outcomes for your customers.

The benefits don’t stop there. Pausing and reflecting on what has been achieved can lead to other unexpected benefits, which we’ve highlighted below;

Reflection is a terrific way to understand your strengths, as well as areas for future development, at a business, team and individual level. Creating a positive forum invites a more open dialogue and team members are more likely to highlight areas for improvement, in contrast to a ‘what went wrong meeting’. Set a positive agenda and your team will feel less guarded.

The benefit of reflection is that it allows you to think about how to play to your strengths while factoring time for improvement in other areas. While there’s no rule of thumb, if we spend 80% of our time doing things we’re confident at, and the remaining 20% on more challenging areas, people and teams will feel more empowered to succeed.

Failing to do this, results in teams, or team members, spending the majority of time on tasks that are extremely challenging for them and will likely lead to low team satisfaction, productivity and ultimately retention issues. It may highlight that team members are better suited to a different role altogether, or in some cases they are the right fit for your business. You’re better to know early, than let it fester for long periods which can ultimately create toxicity and inefficiency in the workplace.

Reflection time can often be overlooked, particularly in high-season periods. Taking the time, whether it be in daily stand-ups or WIPs, to highlight what may feel like minor milestones or achievements, helps to set a positive tone for these forums and the subsequent day ahead.

If there are people or projects that require attention due to ineffectiveness, don’t use daily forums to raise these as it can tarnish what should be a quick, energetic session that sets the tone for the day.

Reflection also creates a culture of accountability, so it is critical whether you use KPI or OKR frameworks, that you have frequent forums to look at progress. At the end of a KPI or OKR period, try not to reflect on outcomes and set new ones in the same meeting. Put some space between them, even if it’s just a couple of days. Give yourself a period to reflect on the wins and/or consider how to change the approach. Don’t overshadow reflection time by simply using it to set new, higher benchmarks.

When you’re getting the team together, there’s a few important things to consider that can be the difference between achieving positive outcomes or doing more harm than good.

  • Make the celebration interactive and give all team members the chance to articulate for themselves what they think went well and any challenges or barriers that surfaced that hindered performance or results.
  • Ensure whichever way is decided to celebrate success, it is inclusive of all team members, regardless of level.
  • Create an environment where the team can focus. Once the session is complete, from there it can move to a purely social event, whether this be for dinner, drinks etc. Just be cautious not to try and combine the two, or the whole purpose of the celebrations could be defeated.

If you’re looking an engaging way to reflect with the team on your outcomes and challenges, don’t be afraid to call in the experts, even if it’s just once or twice a year.  Our team at Be Challenged provides an unbiased third party, bringing decades of experience and a set of tools to ensure when people look back, we give them the inspiration to look ahead in a positive way.

We’d love to hear from you and thanks for reading.

Kingsley Seale

Joint Managing Director, Be Challenged

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