The theme for our community groups this month is Space and Celebration. While here at Fresh Air Fridays we do our best to acknowledge the good work of our team every day, we think it’s especially important in December to take a little time for reflection and celebration.
With winter truly upon us, taking some time to reflect on the year, creating some space for your team to step away from the immediacy of the job and breathe for a moment is really beneficial.
Whilst we recommend that you make time for yourself to do this, we’d encourage you to think about how you can create structures within your business that allow staff to pause and reflect at regular intervals. Providing these opportunities will help individuals and teams feel more engaged.
Engage for Success Research suggests 64% of employees have more to offer and, as organisations, we need to provide ways for employees to maximise their talents and contribution. Creating time and space for thought and conversation is a necessary part of this.
Alongside the creation of space is the importance of celebration and we would encourage you to actively notice what has gone well for you and your team. We can find it easy to notice what’s not gone so well, or what is still to do, but less easy to notice and acknowledge what we have achieved.
We know great managers who use the ‘sandwich’ method – feeding back on something that has gone well, then something that needs improvement, followed by something that has gone well.
We think it’s super important for all workplaces to take the time to recognise and acknowledge the good things that people do. This doesn’t have to cost anything, gifts are nice but most people are content with a heartfelt and meaningful thank you and acknowledgement of a job well done.
We asked a couple of people we work with about the things that their leaders or colleagues do that make a difference to them. This is what they said.
“I work in a busy Corporate Affairs team and our Director has an office on the other side of the building. Every morning he’s in the office, without fail, he walks across the building to say good morning to the team, asking people how they are and what their workload is like before he goes to his office. We know it’s the first thing he does because he still has his coat and backpack on.
“It’s just a couple of minutes out of his day but it makes a massive difference and helps the team to feel connected.”
“Our ‘Jar of Awesomeness’ lives on our small meeting table and everyone is encouraged to pop in things to celebrate, either about themselves or others in the team.
“We start our monthly team meeting by pulling out a couple of examples and taking a moment to celebrate and share congratulations. I worried that the team might think it was a bit of a crazy idea but they’ve totally embraced it and doing this at the beginning of our team meetings has completely changed how it goes because we start with the positives!”
How about this month making a real point of celebrating what your team has done well?