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Celebrate Milestone Successes To Maintain A Positive Work Environment Milestone celebrations, both organizational and employee-oriented, should be leveraged as engagement opportunities.

By Rajeev Bhardwaj

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An organization's success is the sum total of micro-successes that its employees experience each day. It is important to celebrate such workplace successes as it gives employees a sense of purpose, makes them feel valued,and eventually boosts employee morale. Milestone celebrations, both organizational and employee-oriented, should be leveraged as engagement opportunities. Such celebrations should not be considered a perk as these are instrumental in acquiring and retaining talent.

Creating a positive work environment

Employees get a sense of purpose when they see how their regular deliverables contribute to organizational success. Getting acknowledged gives them a reason to work harder. In longer term, it helps in retaining talent. Moreover, it creates a culture of appreciation within the organization. Having a robust "rewards & recognition' policy significantly aids in building a positive culture of appreciation. The policy should be designed in a manner that allows managers to reward and celebrate significant as well as smaller teamaccomplishments.

Linking goals to celebrations

While it may be important to acknowledge and celebrate achievements, these should essentially be linked to well-defined goals. Regularly celebrating with employees the accomplishment of short and long term goals can be very motivating for them. Spontaneous celebrations with an element of surprise are always received well and create a spirit of camaraderie.

A great PR opportunity

Celebrations centered aroundprominent organizational milestone can also be leveraged as a marketing opportunity to engage internal as well as external stakeholders. PR campaigns aligned with the theme can drive external branding and create awareness among target audience.

While in some cases, these might be potential employees, in others it could be business partners. The idea should be to involve the stakeholders, whether internal or external, and make them a part of the celebration to create a sense of ownership and belonging. Doing a press conference engaging the media directly or a digital campaign specifically targeted to the audience is a great way to create buzz around the milestone.

Making celebrations socially inclusive

A lot of organizations are strategically partaking in CSR initiatives that align with the theme of important milestone celebrations. Supporting societal causes and engaging employees in related volunteer work can inspire trust of the employees and pitch the organization as a responsible corporate establishment, internally and externally.

Personalizing celebrations

Celebrating personal milestones such as birthdays and work anniversaries is also reflective of a warm work culture. Such celebrations help in maintaining positivity within smaller functional teams and allow employees to develop a personal equity with their co-workers. For a manager, celebrating a team member's achievement by spontaneously inviting him / herfor lunch and using the time to discuss his / her career prospects can make the engagement more meaningful.

Celebrations don't always have to be fancy and expensive. The key is to celebrate smaller achievements regularly to give employees a sense of belonging and appreciation.

Rajeev Bhardwaj

VP-Human Resource, Sun Life Financial Asia Service Centre, India

Rajeev Bhardwaj, who heads the Human Resource function at Sun Life Asia Service Centre, is a veteran in the field who has spent 25 years contributing to the HR policies of diverse organizations across sectors.

Over the years, Rajeev has been associated with a slew of global organizations such as ABB, Coca Cola, and Intel Technology, among others.

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