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  • Writer's pictureTaryn Johnson-Kline

Start with why...

Consultant Working

Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist who believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. Simon's WHY is to inspire people to do what inspires them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.

If you're leading a team or an organization, start with WHY. Remember that “People don't buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.” The most effective leaders always win the heart first, and then the mind. And the only chance you have to win the heart if you start with WHY.

  • What did we accomplish?

  • Why did we choose to do the work we did?

  • Why was it important?

  • What were the results?

  • What impact did we make?

Not only is celebrating your personal accomplishments important but celebrating yours and your team’s accomplishments together is a great way to build a stronger team. We all know, come January 1 it is tempting to start prioritizing our goals for the New Year, but before we jump into "goal setting" mode, take a moment and recognize how fare you've come the past 12-months.

Why Recognizing Accomplishments Matters

If you are a high-achieving leader, you likely have a tendency to accomplish one goal and quickly move on to setting the next, without taking time to recognize what you have truly achieved. Many of the people you work with are likely the same way.

Recognition helps employees see that their company values them and their contributions to the success of their team and the company overall. This is particularly key when organizations grow or change. It helps employees build a sense of security in their value to the company, motivating them to continue great work.

Here are just a few of the reasons why employee recognition is important … especially during the 'Great Resignation' …

  • Increased productivity and engagement.

  • Decreased employee turnover.

  • Greater employee satisfaction and enjoyment of work.

  • Improved team culture.

  • Higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.

  • Increased retention of quality employees.

  • Decreased stress and absenteeism.

Teambuilding Activities

If you lead a team, here are some three simple ideas you can add for celebrating accomplishments as well as provide a little bit of a team-building activity.

Team Brainstorm

Schedule a team meeting and ask each person to bring at least 3 things they are most proud of accomplishing or working on this past year.

  • Bonus follow up question - Why was this accomplishment/work important? In other words, what was the impact/result of the work you did?

  • As employees go around the room sharing their accomplishments, write them out on a white board (online white boards work too!) Visually seeing the accomplishments drives home the volume and impact of your team’s work. As a follow-up to the meeting, send a picture or screenshot of the whiteboard to your team, expressing gratitude to each for their accomplishments.

Accomplishments Whiteboard

This idea works both in the office or in a shared whiteboard space online (a shared document works great). Set up the whiteboard and have employees choose their post-it note (or font) color. Using their color, challenge them to post at least one accomplishment from this past year at least weekly during the month of January to the whiteboard. At the end of the month, circulate a picture or screenshot of the whiteboard to the team. What a great way to look back at the end of 2022 and have a visual of the past 12-months.

Provide a Safe Space

One of my favorite team activities, is for each member of the team to share not only their successes but their roadblocks too. It's a simple way to share what you are working on, what you are proud of, and where you could use some assistance. This is a great way to build up on the strengths of your team in a safe environment. Added bonus if you tag on peer shout outs and recognition to the team or others at the organization on a job well done.

There are so many ways to recognize accomplishments and celebrate. Now is time to get creative and have some fun. After the celebration and recognition, then onto goal setting.

"Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating." - Simon Sinek

Cheers to 2022!

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