There’s a definite whiff of celebration in the air this week as up and down the country people are getting ready to party for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

There’s nothing like a right royal celebration to create a bit of community spirit and put a smile on people’s faces. But while you’re hanging out the bunting and cutting the crusts off the cucumber sandwiches, just pause for a moment and ask yourself how often you celebrate work achievements, important milestones or successes in your business.

There’s more research than you can shake a union jack flag at to show that patting people on the back for a job well done has a huge impact on motivation and employee engagement. But shouting about our achievements is something we’re just not that good at in the UK.

This was graphically illustrated this morning when I typed “celebrating employee success” into Google, only to see a whole host of US-based websites popping up on the screen. High fives, it seems, are common place in the States but more of a rare occurrence in our ‘stiff upper lip’ British culture.

Regular praise drives positive atmospheres

I used to work for a business where there was a bottle of Champagne permanently on ice in the fridge, ready to celebrate the next big client win. Celebrating work achievements usually just involved public recognition at the next staff meeting – and often with some kind of small gift such as a voucher or a meal out. There were always cakes to celebrate people’s birthdays.

We all worked hard and often put in long hours, but everyone was happy to go the extra mile because we knew our efforts would be acknowledged and appreciated.

As US management guru Rosabeth Moss Kanter once said: “Compensation is a right; recognition is a gift”. So the next time someone in your team pulls off a major coup, provides outstanding customer service or works above and beyond the call of duty, make sure you find a way to celebrate their achievements.

The little things can mean a lot…

Send them a card to say thank you, have a team lunch to celebrate success in your business, organise a picnic in the park. It doesn’t have to be something big and expensive. Indeed, in these current straitened times that probably wouldn’t be appropriate. The mere fact that you are recognising and celebrating their success will be enough.

And while you’re at it – don’t just save celebrating work achievements for the big successes. Regular praise for the small, daily achievements that keep the wheels turning can do much to create a positive atmosphere and build strong relationships between managers and their teams.

Of course you could always create a celebratory atmosphere by organising your own Diamond Jubilee party. I wish you a sparkling company celebration – and a relaxed long weekend to recover.

Erika Lucas author image

Erika Lucas

Writer and Communications Consultant

Erika Lucas is a writer and communications consultant with a special interest in HR, leadership, management and personal development. Her career has spanned journalism and PR, with previous roles in regional press, BBC Radio, PR consultancy, charities and business schools.