Celebrate festivals as they comeFrom birthdays to farewells to colleagues to project kick-offs or celebrations of 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 away from everyday life
...to strengthen the bond between team members
...show the team what they have achieved and promote motivation to work towards the next goals.
So what’s the best way to 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 many more. recognize their employees and celebrate special milestones online. Of course there was mostly chocolate involved ;-) …
Short icebreaker sessions at the start of the meetingAccording to Harvard Business Review, 40% of employees would try harder at work if they received more recognition. Conversely, this means: 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 specific project completion or other (small) successes. To keep everyone involved, it's best to leave this task to a different team member each day. This way everyone has the opportunity to say what they are grateful for and show what he or she appreciates about the team. Exchange ideas (briefly!) about what went well in past projects, with a particular focus on what went particularly well on a personal level. Of course, points that make digital collaboration easier should be particularly highlighted at the moment.
Set up a Kudos channel or chatWhat is easy in the office takes place less digitally. While you might quickly give praise or shout across the room in the office, this happens much less often in the virtual world. You probably now have Slack or chat channels in which certain thematic points are discussed. But what if you also used 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 to express praise and recognition. In addition, this channel can even be used across teams. If the praise becomes too much, you can also set up a few rules for the channel. Because in the end everyone should be happy and not 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 while now. And even if there is of course no exact digital equivalent for such activities, you can still have 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 “trip” as early as possible so that everyone can prepare for it and no one is on vacation.
By the way, you can take advantage of the digital aspect and think about the whole thing in a more international way. This way you can bring in team members from other countries. It would also be conceivable that you limit the activities to half days. In this way, urgent things can be done in the morning and everyone can really concentrate on team activities in the afternoon.
What this week actually looks like is of course up to each team. One idea, however, is that you introduce so-called theme days. So 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: fun ending together and gifts for the team
And because you can only go on a trip digitally, we even have a concrete suggestion for just that. You could go on a taste excursion together as part of the project completion ceremony or as the culmination 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 always fits. What our customers often say is particularly positive is 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 significantly more inclusive than many wine or gin tastings :-) .
Send a “real” giftHave you just completed a virtual event but still want to do something good for your colleagues? Then send a gift as a token of your appreciation. It is now clear to most people that when making a gift you should not only pay attention to the content but also to aspects such as sustainability. We have summarized a few tips on the topic for you here. And of course we would also like to refer to the idea of sending chocolate boxes as an employee gift. All of our chocolates are fair trade and the cocoa beans for them are sustainably grown. By the way, you can find out how BNP has invested in employee satisfaction here .
Celebrate success on surprising daysEveryone knows the usual holidays. But do you know International Chocolate Day? Your team probably knows similarly little and you can use this opportunity to surprise your colleagues.
Instead of an obvious project completion, anniversary or recurring celebration, choose 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 to take online courses.
November 12th: World Kindness Day – Flood your Kudos channel with appreciation and praise. If not on 'World Kindness Day', then when?
April 15th: World Art Day – Take your team on a digital museum tour. Many museums now offer free, digital tours. Prepare a small, nice tour and surprise the others with it. By the way, Google also offers various options .
July 17: 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 ! By the way, there is some disagreement as to whether chocolate has its big day on July 7th or September 13th. Due to weather reasons we decided on September 13th...
Particularly nice: start a few hours before work and give the rest of the day off. Then everyone comes back particularly relaxed the next working day.
Success can also be celebrated with a shared chocolate tasting
What should you pay attention to when celebrating the completion of a project digitally?
- Before you make your success or project celebrations a reality, you should determine exactly which goals and successes should actually be celebrated and in what form. We think: it's the mixture that counts! For smaller successes, the above-mentioned kudos channels or thank-you notes at meetings are ideal. For larger project completions or a company anniversary, a real (virtual) celebration should be considered. And for everything in between, anappreciative employee gift by post or a nice hour of team games is also a good solution.
- Always be clear about the aim and purpose of your activities. Particularly in times of home office, great importance should be placed on ensuring that all virtual activities aim to help the team to bond together and to make individuals feel 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. Ask your team for feedback and new ideas so that small project completions and big milestones can be appropriately recognized in the future.
Last but not least: save this article as a bookmark so that you can quickly refer back to it when you are lacking inspiration. Are you already in the middle of planning? Then include some of our ideas in your survey and let the team vote on which ideas they think are best. Have fun while celebrating!
A colleague leaves you when you work from home? Then take a look at our list of ideas for farewell gifts.