“Dream big, start small” is as relevant as ever. Companies always focus on the former, forgetting the importance of the latter. Especially if you are a small-sized business, it’s important you recognize both. The wait for that big win can become a game of patience, so to maintain morale and motivation among your team, it’s important to recognize small wins in the meantime. Here are a few suggestions.
It is common practice to establish “large” quarterly goals that you can share with the team. Nonetheless, if you want to maintain morale and excitement, set-up “smaller” goals along the way that your team can gravitate towards (while keeping the big-picture in mind).
If a particular mark of KPI has been hit, celebrate with something as simple as a pizza or ice cream party, it can do wonders. Smaller goals can help your team keep their “eye on the prize” aka focused while working towards the larger goal.
When an individual on the team has achieved a small victory, try to “spread the word”. Build-up the company atmosphere around motivation and co-worker encouragement.
Here is an example from an executive search company – when a recruiter landed a new account, a small gong would be rung by the victor, followed by candy distribution among co-workers in celebration. This gave a chance to the individual to share their win and get a “standing ovation” cheer from peers.
It can just as easily be applied in a remote-work environment. As soon as the gong rings, an email goes out to remote (or traveling) teammates, to inform them of success. Congratulations are then sent out by those willing and mindful-enough to let their co-worker know that as a team they are all getting closer to the “big-picture” targets.
Find the time to acknowledge small wins. For example, do it during daily or weekly meetups where individuals recognize and talk about these small achievements. Verbal recognition is a reward in itself, especially for those that participated in making it happened, and helps maintain excitement within the team.
In case your organization has a newsletter, create a specific section for the monthly winners. Doing this helps in notifying not only your inner-company-circle but also lets your clients spot that you are empowering a culture of employee appreciation/recognition.
A verbal “good job” coupled with a written congratulation only emphasizes and empowers a win. Small, personalized congratulatory notes or emails can often sometimes provide even more motivation than verbal recognition (since it has a wider reach). Even if the memory fades, it is something that your winning employees can hang on to with pride for years down the road.