Is not everyday when a team launches a project or reaches an important milestone, and for those occasions, celebration must be done.
As PM’s or team leads, it’s part of the job to celebrate accomplishments of our teams, it’s a way to acknowledge the good work that we all have done through weeks or months, taking the time to have a nice dinner share experiences, the good and the bad, relax and enjoy ourselves for a few hours while we’re prepping for the next project.
Some times for numerous reasons, this celebration is overlooked or just ignored, postponed… and believe it or not, it causes a huge impact to the team. As long as we work with human beings, we have to remember that we all have feelings and emotions, although we all -should- receive our payment for the job that we do, it’s not always about the money, it’s about feeling valued, listened and cared about, we’re not machines that go from one project onto the next one without pausing for a little bit, even if it’s a 3 hours meal where you get to forget about work and celebrate the accomplishment.
During my career I have came across with different types of leaderships and even though I respect other people techniques and experience, I can’t relate to some leaderships that completely ignore these small celebrations thinking that they’re just not important or that people might not even care… well, we do!
It’s part of building team culture and rapport, sometimes also creates team traditions, for instance, my team and I we always go to the same place to celebrate accomplishments some of us have been working together for a few years now and it has become like our little tradition, we have even hooked up new teammates into the same place. Let me tell you, bringing food to the office or pizza parties don’t count, leave that for when you’ll have a long day at the office.
But why food and no money or days off? Of course these are very important too and we all appreciate them, but those could be more impersonal and will probably require additional considerations that we’re not going to discuss at this time. But having a nice dinner will give us the ability of having the whole team sit together, have a good time, build relationships with other members of the team perhaps you didn’t get to work closely with some of them, so this is your chance to talk and get to know them, or maybe you had some stressful times working with someone, there’s tension there… this is the time to let that go have good chat with that person and start fresh on the new project.
Lastly, keep the celebration as informal as possible, this is not the time to be all serious and reserved, no matter what’s you role in the team, keep it casual, no authority figures, leave that for when you walk into the office the next day!