Resources

Ideas to Read and Pass Along

Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

What to Celebrate

Celebration is one very effective way to create a culture of playfulness. Authentic celebrations unleash the human spirit and institutionalize fun as a way of life. What are you currently NOT celebrating that you could be? Here are some ideas:

1. Anniversaries—personal and corporate.

Great companies show they care by celebrating the things that are important to their people. Great people show they care by celebrating historical events that are important to the company.

2. Milestones.

Celebrating big and small wins can be intoxicating. Once people get a taste of how much fun it is to revel in a victory their passion for achieving another one grows. Milestones could include opening a new facility, serving your one millionth customer, processing your one millionth invoice, saving the company $100,00, the development of a new technology, winning a new contract, forming a new partnership, inaugurating a new piece of equipment, or rolling out a new ad campaign just name a few.

3. Heroic acts of service.

When people go above and beyond the basics to WOW an internal or external customer that’s worth celebrating. The more you celebrate sensational acts of service the more ASTONISHMENT will become the norm in your organization – it’s fun too!

4. The biggest OOPS!

When you celebrate mistakes in a light-hearted (not embarrassing) way, people don’t think it’s the end of the world. They are encouraged laugh at themselves and try again. Celebrating intelligent risk taking that doesn’t work out is a fun way to create a culture of innovation.

5. The closest call.

Business is full of success stories that could’ve been disasters. Why not celebrate how your people pulled it off and came through near disaster. This is the stuff corporate heroes and legendary stories are made of!

6. A charitable cause, local or national disaster.

Whether it’s painting over graffiti, helping flood victims, taking supplies to the homeless, giving toys for tots, adopting a school, or building a home with Habitat for Humanity, celebrating these altruistic activities gives those who participated an opportunity to share a memory and those who didn’t participate a reason to get involved next time.

7. People who come and go.

If people are important, if they really are your greatest asset celebrating their arrival and departure is one way to show it. How about decorating a new employee’s office and giving a departing employee you accolades and admiration. Remember the person who leaves today may be your customer tomorrow. Besides, it’s the right thing to do.

8. An annual chili cook-off.

Most people love friendly competition. A chili cook-off or salsa making contest goes beyond a social event. It promotes teambuilding, camaraderie, and esprit de corps that people take back into the work place.

9. A fun golf tournament.

How about a golf tournament where each participant can use only one club – for all nine or eighteen holes! This give those who don’t golf an opportunity to participate and have some fun without being embarrassed.

10. Executive exchange.

Get your executive to swap roles for a day with the front line. End the day with a celebration in which the executive recognize in a fun way how tough their jobs were. Then have the executive cook the meal and serve their employees.

Action Item: Use the ideas listed above to prime the creative thinking pump among your employees. Challenge them to go way beyond our list and come up with their own ideas for celebration. Make sure they know that not every idea warrants implementation. Then get them involved in acting on the best ideas.