Fourth of July festivities always impress me.  We really do know how to celebrate our liberty and our country!  This year’s celebration got me thinking about business celebrations.  And therein lies this week’s Lesson Found.

I’ve experienced many company parties and celebrations but two stand out in my memory.  One was in 1988 when CIBA-Geigy (now Norvatis) launched Voltaren in the United States.  At the time, it was the quickest a prescription medication reached sales of $500 million ($1 billion in today’s dollars) after introduction.  That was a celebration to remember!

The second celebration was the annual event my parents held for the staff of our family’s business.  Hosted in our home, these celebrations were much more than your typical company gathering.  These parties (and they were “parties”) were one of the elements that transformed the company into a “family” working as a cohesive team.  Needless to say, with this annual celebration setting the standard, future company “parties” never felt the same to me.

These two examples offer Lessons Found for companies on when, what, and how to celebrate.  It is imperative to extend company celebrations beyond annual holiday parties, which can often feel like routine, mandated company functions.  Breaking out from the routine offers opportunities for building team cohesiveness and reinforcing company goals.  If, for example, a company goal is to increase profitability, set benchmarks such as reduced expenses or increased productivity.  Then celebrate when the “team” achieves these benchmarks.  Or, if customer service is the focus, bring in lunch every month customer service standards are met as well as host a larger year-end celebration when increased customer satisfaction results in higher profits.

What and how to celebrate should also go beyond recognizing company-wide achievements.  The classic example is the reserved parking spot for the associate of the month.  Here too recognition of individual team members takes on greater meaning when it goes beyond the routine and is tied to specific achievements.  Recognize individuals when their efforts go above-and-beyond to provide superior customer service, identify cost reduction opportunities, or even when they provide a service to the community outside of their work roles.

Company celebrations can reinforce company goals while building team cohesion.  Make the most of these opportunities.  But remember to join and be part of the celebration!

When, what and how does your company celebrate?

Life brings us lessons every day.  Sometimes from expected sources.  And sometimes from sources and situations we never would have thought possible.  Either way, they are a gift found. I am fortunate to find these types of lessons regularly and wanted to share them with you with this weekly series of “Lessons Found”.
Did you recently receive the gift of a Lesson Found that has helped you with management, marketing or another aspect in business? I would love to hear about it. Comment below or send me an email to let me know.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  Image courtesy of Steve Miller of Steve Miller Photography & Steve Miller Photo on YouTube.