Celebrating individual and team achievements 

minute read

Last Updated September 29, 2023


*This blog is part of the March 2023 Thought Leader newsletter

lindsay malcolm, education services coordinatorLeah Reid, Education Team Development Manager

We had an interesting question during an interview this week.

A little background first: The recruiting and interview process is not for the faint of heart. Like many accounting firms and businesses in the country and worldwide, we’re looking for the right person to join our team. Of course, we want someone with the skill set, knowledge and expertise to do the job. But we also focus on ensuring their personality, work ethic and values coincide with our team and company culture.

So, while we’re interviewing the candidate to determine if they’re a good fit, the candidate should also be interviewing us. They need to decide whether we best fit their values, needs and desires in a new position. All these considerations mean the process can be lengthy.

The question

All right, back to the original question that got us thinking after the interview concluded: “How do you celebrate individual and team achievements?”

In the moment, the answer, “We’re a kind and supportive team who says ‘thank you’ often,” rolled off the tongue. But days later, we’re still pondering—is that enough? Do we proactively and intentionally celebrate our team? How do we know they feel supported and recognized? And how do we address mistakes or opportunities for improvement?

Finding the answer

To address our lingering questions, we made a list of the times we celebrate and support individuals and the group. This list is not exhaustive. The frequencies in celebrations and support vary—in fact, we would love to add to it with intention. As of today, the following are ways we celebrate and support one another with fidelity and pride.

As you read through the list, consider how you recognize and support each other in your own firm. Which of the following rings true to you? Can you implement efforts to strengthen the firm and team culture of support and recognition?

  • Internal communication channels: Giving our team shout-outs and thank-you’s when they do something helpful, go above and beyond, or simply be there to lift someone up when they’re having a tough time. Did you know there is a Praise option in Microsoft Teams? (Look below the message box where you type your messages/replies for an icon that looks like an award ribbon; clicking that icon will bring up the Praise option.)
  • Quarterly 3-3-1 reviews: Rootworks uses a 3-3-1 template to aid in quarterly one-on-one meetings where employees discuss their strengths, accomplishments and areas of improvement or opportunity with their manager. Together, they decide which improvement to focus on—but first, they celebrate the accomplishments of the last quarter. When the next quarter’s 3-3-1 is on the horizon, the employee can look forward to recognition and support from their manager which helps cultivate a culture of support and celebration.
  • Biannual retreats: We work hard, have fun and enjoy the times when we can do that in person. It’s easy to get lost in our computer screens and forget about the benefits of face-to-face support and celebrations in a remote-centered organization. So during our retreats, we set aside ample time for intentional work while sharing accomplishments, needs and goals face-to-face. We hug, shake hands, laugh, communicate in person, and intentionally say “thank you” and “well done.”

Celebrate your team

How does your own firm celebrate accomplishments and support one another? Do you have a culture that’s quick to say, “good job” and “thank you?” Do you hold one-on-one, less-formal meetings to lift and support your staff and team members?

Remember the importance of verbal praise, support and recognition as tax season winds down. Everyone’s working hard and will inevitably be ready for moments of fun, celebration and deep breaths. As we constantly learn in our skills and work, we must continue to learn and put effort toward the people we work with and the teams we support.

To learn more about creating a positive culture and retaining your best employees, check out this blog post.

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