Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Celebrations Create a Greater Sense of Team

This is another post in a continuing series on improving morale (and the bottom line) in your company at little or no cost.

“It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, 
including my own, to find that somebody remembers me.” 
-Ellen Glasgow

Photo by: dixieroadrash (Flickr)
Birthdays, work anniversaries, new babies, weddings, accomplishments of your employees children- Celebrate!  It brings fun to the office and reminds everyone that there are lives outside of the workplace, that there are some things more important than work.  Celebrating together also builds a sense of team and reminds individuals that they are not anonymous workers.

Get a card that you and their co-workers can sign and slip a $5.00 Starbucks (or other favorite place) gift card inside.  This is an easy, inexpensive way to personalize awareness of your employees.  When you remember and acknowledge a special occasion, you let them know that you care about them individually.

Celebrations don’t need to be elaborate parties with streamers, cake, and gifts.  But, whatever you do for one person, you set a precedent to do the same for everyone.  Throwing an elaborate party for one person and not another tells everyone that you are picking and choosing your favorites.  Keep it simple and thoughtful.  Get everyone to sing.  It’s corny and embarrassing, but it’s fun and it brings the office together.

You could have a monthly party, celebrating all birthdays.  Do a potluck.  Give an employee a paid day off on their birthday (if their birthday doesn’t fall on a workday, give them the option to take a Monday or Friday off).

While not a time to celebrate, deaths and illnesses, of your employees or their families should be remembered as well.  This shows that you support them in the good times and the bad.

A few years ago, my brother was killed in a traffic accident.  My boss and co-workers all chipped in and bought a flower basket and sympathy card.  That meant a lot.  What meant even more was when my boss, who didn’t know my brother, came to his viewing to show her support for me.  It was only an hour out of her day, but it earned my respect for life.

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