We always hear about it when we fail of something goes wrong or could have done better. That is one of the downsides of the continuous improvement philosophy. Rarely do we hear about it when things get done the way they should or when we have a success. As an employee retention speaker and employee retention author, I have found that those organizations that celebrate success have a far better culture and are much more fun to work at. People like to be there because they feel as if they are making an impact. They must be doing something right or the place would be out of business.
Don’t get me wrong. This employee retention trainer is a huge proponent of continuous improvement both professionally and personally. CI is what enables us to compete with the best and survive in a very competitive world market. But, so does celebrating success. When people see success, they want more of it and will strive to deliver it because they like the positive feedback and the enjoyment celebrating success brings us. Nobody likes to get ragged on about the fact that we had an increase in defects or a customer return. Yet, when we see an improvement in defects, or a customer sends a letter telling us how well the group did, rarely do we hear about it. Usually, nothing is said or done.
It’s time to shift the focus a bit towards celebrating success. We will get more as a result, and demoralize our people a lot less if we do. Demoralized people do not produce more, in fact, studies show that they tend to “check out” and become disengaged. Gallup’s polls have shown we are more disengaged than ever before. Maybe that is because we don’t celebrate the successes and instead harp on every little thing that is not perfect…the whole zero defects thing. People want to be in a place that celebrates or, at the very least, acknowledges when something good happens.
I am not talking about lavish parties or gala events. How about donuts in the morning when we complete month end; a task that everyone in accounting hates. Or maybe, the end of physical inventory that went well. Or, that big customer that you just landed. Or, perhaps we go wild and crazy and celebrate a record sales month. All of the things that I mentioned are wins. We win more than we lose. That is the way it is supposed to be. If you want to drive employee retention start celebrating the wins. People will stay in a positive environment much more so than a negative one. It’s time to change the mindset. Work on continuous improvement but celebrate the successes too. After all, you wouldn’t be in business if you weren’t having successes to celebrate.