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Teela Jackson, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Contributor

Do you enjoy work? Do you love what you do? When was the last time you celebrated someone else at work? Not their birthday, work anniversary or going away party. When?

Somewhere along the way, we stopped celebrating at work. We fell into the rut of reluctantly celebrating co-workers birthdays and work anniversaries and it sucks! These celebrations are canned and boring. We used to high five at work and smile periodically. Now, we celebrate by closing our office door or going to the car to scream and jump up and down. We cheer behind closed doors. Mainly, there’s this short sighted mentality – you’re only as good as your last MAJOR accomplishment, and there was no celebration for that. Celebrating doesn’t mean catering in a feast or going offsite for a paid day of bowling (sadly, that doesn’t happen much either).

As a matter of fact, celebrating is not often thought of in the same realm as work anymore. Why? We even have conversation tug of war to see who’s busier, which is not synonymous with employee engagement and busy is certainly NOT celebrated.

It’s no secret that we are in a significant time of change. And, it’s no secret that we spend more hours at work than with our families. People are walking around looking like drones, they spend their weekends filling up others inboxes, physically at work or talking about work. I must admit, in years past, I’ve been a victim of the drone syndrome.

We are numb. Let’s make the world of work a better place by finding time to celebrate each other again. And this goes for friendships and significant others too. Celebrate your friends. I received a card in the mail from a friend recently and the front cover said, “You mean the world to me.” Frankly, it’s what inspired me to write this post. She received a promotion today yet she found the time to send me a card. She didn’t send this for a birthday, anniversary or as a reciprocal gesture. It was totally unexpected. It’s a celebration. We need to carve out time for more “just because” celebrations, visits, conversations and work gatherings at times when you don’t need something. And, most of all make it genuine and engage in the little moments.

Many companies have an “atta boy” box. If someone does something nice to or for you, you can put their names and an explanation of what they did in an “atta boy” box. A formal acknowledgement will follow at the weekly meeting and you’ll receive a $10 gift card. Meh. We have to do better. It’s about being less formal and more spontaneous.

Bring gifts for those on your team, share fun emails from clients.

Leading up to the BIG GAME, companies celebrate by announcing spirit week and employees can wear jerseys, t-shirts, bring something fun to a meeting (use discretion), dress in red and black and so on. It’s about COMING TOGETHER, feeling connected.Take a moment to stop focusing on yourself and how busy you are to support and celebrate a colleague. This helps to increase engagement, productivity and gives people a sense of community and belonging at a time when many feel divided and disconnected. Celebrations remind us of our purpose, what’s meaningful about work, colleagues and life.

This is not about celebrating YOU, it’s about celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of the team and other individuals in the company. It’s time to rise up and be the authentic, caring, life of the party in your office. Let’s impact what we can control today and make the world of work a happier place.

Rise Up!

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