Inspire engagement, reduce attrition and kickstart an aspirational culture: celebrating successes drives motivation and productivity in the workplace.

All effective leaders understand the importance of overtly recognising and appreciating the talent within their teams. This is not an innovative concept. It can be one that is difficult to effectively achieve. Here we offer some simple, actionable ideas for raising the energy of those we work with to facilitate boosted morale and productivity.

Redefining our concept of success, reinventing notions of what it means to fail, and recognising the individual as well as team successes will all make a profound difference to your learning culture.

Redefine the concept of success

We’re used to recognising success as the attainment of outcomes and endgames. Keeping our eye trained on the ultimate goal is clearly important for strategic progress. However, it’s possible we’re missing out on even bigger wins if this blinkers us to the smaller, incremental gains. It’s a cliché for a reason: the little things matter, because they add up to the big things.

My 2-year-old niece is currently potty training. There’s a literal whooping, high-fiving and family dance every time she gets it right. Every. Single. Time. If I’m not visiting, she video calls me to tell me she got it right, proactively seeking out those she wants to celebrate her success with. Somewhere along the line we stop being comfortable celebrating our wins – including the small ones – and we replace self-recognition with fears of seeming arrogant or egotistical.

Our inner 2-year-old still seeks those stepping-stone validations as both motivation and reward. Creating an environment where all steps – however small – can be recognised means learners get to appreciate each movement they make in the right direction and begin to value the learning itself rather than the outcome in isolation from the learning. What better way of creating an engaged, productive, and inspired workforce?

Reinvent notions of failure

Wait. Isn’t failure bad?

We’ve all been conditioned to believe that failure is a terrible thing. But the truth is that without failure we cannot learn and grow.

If you didn’t fall while learning to walk, you would never have been prompted to develop the balance required to not only walk, but run, dance, and surf. The degree to which you develop that skill often depends on how prepared you are to continue learning from failure. Can you name a pro-surfer who hasn’t spent their fair share of time in the water?

Fail. Fail again. Then fail some more.

And enjoy it.

If you can reframe your understanding of failure into an opportunity to learn, then failing instantly becomes winning.

Model this with your team, spend time nurturing reflective mindsets, and pulling the lessons from the so-called failures. Create a culture where failure is championed as the pathway to success rather than ridiculed or condemned. Who wants a company where its employees are risk-averse?

Recognise individual successes

Very few of us work in a complete vacuum, and we’ve become comfortable with the understanding that individual successes are team successes: “I’d like to thank my parents, the producers, my fellow actors… this award belongs to all of us.” Acknowledging our role as part of a wider collective – both in and out of the workplace – is important to how we contribute to the world.

And we need to be seen as individuals. Recognising someone’s unique Character profile, growth, and contribution creates the dopamine hits that satisfy our sense of importance and belonging. It doesn’t always need to be about the team. Teams can only exist, and succeed, because of the individuals within them.

Let your workforce know, and get used to celebrating, their value as individuals too.

Rewarding success at Entelechy

At Entelechy there is no end game – we respect the persistent need to evolve Character for our own benefit, as well as that of those we can inspire and uplift around us. We don’t measure Character either; claiming to be 100% kind, responsible, or strategic would be a nonsense. One person’s idea of kindness is different to another, so there can be no standardised definition of being as kind as is humanly possible. Plus, we can always be more. Instead, we reward badges to learners who demonstrate commitment, progression, and who can evidence personal growth and real-world learning.

We also reward CPD accredited XP (Experience Points) within the app, to celebrate those small wins as well as the big ones. And we celebrate an individual’s unique Character through Signature.

If you would like to explore your own Character strengths and growth opportunities or have a demo of our solution, please get in touch here.