The power of celebration
The Welches emphasize that work is too much a part of life not to recognize moments of achievement, so grab as many as you can and make a big deal out of them. If you don't, who will?
Reality check"Do you know why most employees leave their jobs?" asks a newsletter from Lawrence Ragan Communications. "Because they get in a 'rut' and are, in a word, bored." You can sweep employees off their feet by throwing "guerrilla celebration" attacks. Bring bagels and coffee for your team on a random Tuesday. If you keep employees off balance about what you're going to do next, you'll separate your practice from others—and convince employees to stay put when they're thinking of leaving.
There's no denying that plenty of public pats on the back are a great way to show staff they're on a winning team. What can you celebrate? Ask your team for ideas. Here's a short list of possibilities:
"Recognition and celebrations," says Ron Zemke, author of Service Wisdom (Lakewood, 1989), "are ways of re-affirming to people that they're an important part of something that matters." Small ceremonies, Zemke says, can be significant motivators for employees in a service organization where "pride in the product" is essentially pride in personal performance.
Among other benefits, celebrating does the following:
Celebrations remind everyone that goals not only exist, but they're exciting, important, and attainable. Celebrations are also a way of nourishing team spirit. They represent a moment in time when many people's efforts can be seen, felt, and enjoyed. Celebrations let team members know you're paying attention to performance and that you recognize how hard they're working, how much they're contributing, and how valuable they are.
Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Bob Levoy is a seminar speaker based in Roslyn, N.Y., who focuses on profitability and practice growth. His newest book is 222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices (Jones and Bartlett, 2007).