Celebrate festivals as they areFrom birthdays to farewells to colleagues to project kick-offs or celebrating project completion. Celebrating successes and special moments - especially digitally - makes teams and employees feel valued. Virtual celebrations are the "new normal" and with a little creativity, the possibilities of the digital version can even be an advantage.
Regular team events, small get-togethers or nice project celebrations can make a big difference. Virtual celebrations can help...
... to strengthen the team culture
...to boost employee motivation
...to increase employee satisfaction
...to give the team the opportunity to break out of everyday life
...to strengthen the bond between team members
...show the team what they have achieved and encourage motivation to work towards the next goals.
So how can you best celebrate your project successes online?
We have already held over 300 virtual team events, digital conferences, company celebrations and digital project graduation parties. In this list, we take a look at how companies like SAP, Google, Spotify, and more. recognize their employees and have celebrated special milestones online. Of course, mostly chocolate was involved ;-) …
Short icebreaker sessions to start the meetingAccording to Harvard Business Review, 40% of employees would put in more effort at work if they received more recognition. Conversely, this means that regular recognition - no matter how small - has never hurt anyone and is particularly important in times of digital collaboration.
At the beginning of a meeting, take 5 minutes and thank your team for certain tasks from the previous day, for a certain project completion or other (small) successes. To keep everyone involved, it's best to delegate this task to a different team member each day. That way, everyone has a chance to say what they're grateful for and show what he or she appreciates about the team. Share (briefly!) what went well in past projects, with a special focus on what went particularly well on a personal level. Of course, points that make digital collaboration easier are currently particularly positive.
Set up a kudos channel or chatWhat is easy in the office takes place less digitally. While you quickly give praise in the office or shout across the room, this happens much less frequently in the virtual world. By now you probably have Slack or chat channels in which certain thematic points are discussed. But how about using such a channel for appreciation and praise? So if you don't get together as a team every day, such a channel is a nice way of expressing praise and appreciation. In addition, this channel can even be used across teams. If the hymns of praise get too much, you can also set up a few rules for the channel. Because in the end, of course, everyone should be happy and not be annoyed by the additional communication.
Organize a digital team retreatJoint team retreats, boat trips, exit games or even a nice lunch together have not taken place for a long time. And even if there is of course no exact, digital equivalent for such activities, you can still spend a nice digital week together.
As in "real life", you should also make a precise plan digitally and book fixed appointment slots for it. These should be firmly planned by all team members, otherwise the whole thing is only half as much fun. Plan your “journey” as early as possible so that everyone can get ready and nobody is on vacation.
By the way, you can take advantage of the digital aspect and think of the whole thing more internationally. So you can get team members from other countries. It would also be conceivable that you limit the activities to half days. This way urgent things can be done in the morning and in the afternoon everyone can really focus on the team activity.
What this week looks like in concrete terms is of course up to each team. One idea, however, is that you introduce so-called motto days. Here’s how you can dedicate each day of the week to a different topic:
Monday: Short joint toast to project successes and project completions
Tuesday: digital team building games
Wednesday: Present personal projects/topics
Thursday: Online yoga or a chocolate mindfulness exercise
Friday: joint, fun conclusion and gifts for the team
And because you can only go on a journey digitally, we even have a concrete suggestion for this one. You could go on a taste excursion together as part of the project graduation party or as the crowning glory of the entire team retreat week. Whether as a team event like SAP , as a network meeting like at Bearing Point ... - a chocolate trip around the world actually always fits. Our customers often particularly like the fact that our tastings are alcohol-free and even children can take part. This makes the event easy to integrate into everyday life for parents, and overall much more inclusive than some wine or gin tastings :-) .
Send a "real" giftHave you just finished a virtual event, but still want to do something good for your colleagues? Then send a gift as a token of your appreciation. Most people are now aware that you should not only pay attention to the content of a gift, but also to aspects such as sustainability. We have summarized a few tips on the subject for you here. And of course we would also like to refer to the idea of sending chocolate boxes as employee gifts. All our chocolates are fair trade and the cocoa beans for them are sustainably grown. By the way, you can find out here how BNP has invested in employee satisfaction.
Celebrating successes on surprising daysEveryone knows the usual holidays. But do you know International Chocolate Day? Your team probably knows just as little and you can use this opportunity to surprise your colleagues.
Instead of an obvious project completion, anniversary, or recurring celebration, find a fun and unexpected occasion to celebrate success with your team. How about:
October 10: International Mental Health Day – Raise awareness of mental health opportunities at work or offer online classes.
November 12: World Kindness Day – Flood your Kudos channel with appreciation and praise. If not on World Kindness Day, then when?
April 15: World Art Day – Take your team on a digital museum tour. Many museums now offer free digital tours. Prepare a small, fine tour and surprise the others with it. By the way, Google also offers various options .
July 17th: International Emoji Day – Play the emoji board Guessing Game on International Emoji Day. You can find out exactly how this works here .
September 13th: international chocolate day – what you should do on this day should be clear by now ;-) . Take your team on a tasteful journey around the world ! Incidentally, there is some disagreement as to whether chocolate has its big day on July 7th or September 13th. Due to the weather, however, we have decided on September 13th...
Especially nice: start a few hours before closing time and give the rest of the day off. Then everyone comes back particularly relaxed the next working day.
What should you pay attention to when celebrating the end of a project digitally?
- Before you turn your success or project celebrations into reality, you should determine exactly which goals and which successes should actually be celebrated and in what form. We think: the mix makes the difference! For smaller successes, the above-mentioned Kudos channels or thanks at meetings are ideal. A real (virtual) celebration should be considered for larger project completions or a company anniversary. And for everything in between, anappreciative employee gift by mail or a nice hour with team games is also a good solution.
- Always be clear about the aim and purpose of your activities. Especially in times of working from home, great importance should be attached to ensuring that all virtual activities are aimed at helping the team to come together and to give individuals the feeling of being a little less alone despite the physical distance. The fun factor and physical elements should therefore not be underestimated in this context.
- Adjust your virtual activities from time to time and experiment around. Solicit your team's feedback and new ideas to continue to recognize small project accomplishments and big milestones appropriately.
Last but not least: save this article as a bookmark so that you can quickly go back to it in a lack of inspiration. Are you already in the middle of planning? Then include some of our ideas in your poll and let the team vote on which ideas they think are the best. Have fun while celebrating!
A colleague leaves you in times of home office? Then take a look at our list of ideas for farewell gifts.