By Scarlett Meade & Craig Jarrell.
Milestones are very important to track the results of your business. Some employers do not believe this is relevant, but celebrating important events will help you track where you started and how far your business has come. Essentially what you and your team have accomplished.
First what the heck is a milestone? Historically, a milestone was a stone that marked a mile. Imagine back in the day when there were no paved streets or signs. People used to put a rock when they figured out another path and that was for them a huge discovery.
As entrepreneurs we don’t have a problem finding things wrong, but what really is important for our team to keep growing is finding the things that they do right. You can point out what they’ve done well even if it is a small accomplishment. They still need some encouragement, motivation, and they need it from YOU.
Celebrating the milestone is for your team. This little celebration can have an amazing impact with your employees. So they can know how far they have come, and what they have accomplished. This will get them motivated and energize them to keep getting better.
When you are starting a project, you can see what the end is going to be like. You can systematically write down the process and list out what some of the best celebrations will be along the way. You can also start planning the milestones you will have in that project.
Celebrating an employee’s milestone is one of the simplest (most easily overlooked) ways you can show the individuals on your team how valued they are. While there is no need to throw a party or disrupt the entire work day, a few creative gestures go a long way. Here are some creative ways to celebrate, and don’t forget to have fun with them:
1. Reinvent birthdays. Instead of celebrating employees’ birthdays, celebrate work birthdays. This is a great opportunity to tell each employee that it is significant that they gave a year of their life to help build your team and that is definitely worth a cake.
2. Blasting “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled. When a person or your team hits a goal, play “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled on the office. Nothing is more overtly triumphant, funny, and memorable than a team dancing awkwardly around together.
3. Give handmade personalized gifts. When an employee’s birthday is coming up, spend some time finding a lovely handmade gift for them. Let the employee know that you know them well enough to be aware of the things they like. The fact that it is custom-made for them makes them feel much more special than a gift card for example.
4. Sponsor an event. Take the entire team out for a trip or to a restaurant, but do it in the employee’s name. The point is to get out of the office together, and get away from work. Startups have major ups and downs. Capture the emotion of a big win; sharing fun experiences outside of work builds the bonds that help us get through the tough times.
5. “Wins” Board. Do a “Wins” meeting every Friday morning. Each employee writes down anything that was a “High Five/Fist Pump” from the week and everyone puts their wins on the board. Wins can be anything — personal or professional.
6. Sponsor a Dream. When you hit a milestone, as a team, try to help one of your team members realize a lifelong dream. Say someone’s dream is to take her son to Disneyland. One of your teammates may find her a place to stay, one might donates miles for the flight, or someone else might just pack her lunch. Moving towards this common goal, the entire team enjoys a great sense of satisfaction.
Do these steps in your company and instead of being team members, you will become a family.