This week, I’m traveling to Bryan/College Station, TX. I’m joining bankers from the area for their mid-year Sales & Service Rally, a celebration of the individual and team accomplishments attained through the first half of the year. I’m anticipating a festive atmosphere as employees from a variety of roles come together to recognize each other.
Some see recognition events such as this as waste of time and resources. They view them as frivolous and unnecessary. They feel a pat on the back is quite enough to say “Thank you” and motivate future performance.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
While top performers are indeed driven by an internal pursuit of excellence as opposed to any external motivator, recognition events serve a much greater purpose. You see, they help unify and reinvigorate the team. In fact, I believe bringing the team together in this way provides three specific benefits to the organization.
- They reinforce the power of the team. Any opportunity to bring the team together is a good one. It gives everyone a chance to reconnect with each other and each other’s talents. Navigating the daily list of personal tasks can seem very lonely. It’s easy to fall into a routine, your own routine, and forget that your actually part of something larger. When the team comes together, it reminds us that our small part of the puzzle helps complete the big picture. Without everyone doing their part, and supporting the others as they do theirs, the picture can’t be completed.
- They reemphasize the goals of the team. Teams are assembled for a purpose – to accomplish a goal. But the finish line can seem very far away at times. Coming together to celebrate your team’s progress helps close the distance. Because day-to-day it’s hard to see the impact of your work. You have to stop periodically and look back to recognize just how far you’ve come. Seeing the progress that’s been made allows you to more clearly chart a path to the end.
- They recharge the battery of the team. Let’s face it. We all lose energy from time to time. We all get burned out. We all sometimes wonder why we’re working so hard. Just as a vacation is healthy for the individual, celebration and fun are vital to the health of the team. When you bring people together, feed and entertain them, and allow them to engage in some group fellowship, you can just see the energy levels rise. Shared experiences create memories. And shared memories build relationships. Nothing makes the team stronger than bringing the team together.
When leaders focus on the bottom line, it’s easy to forget that businesses are made up of people. We’re human and, as humans, were designed to be social creatures. We are at our best when we’re part of something bigger. Many organizations speak of their employees in terms of family. I don’t know about you, but my family always seems to function better when we work – and play – together.
What does your team have to celebrate this week?