Culture Change Resources

Celebrating success and continuing momentum

Why should you celebrate success?

Celebrating success is one of the simplest ways to keep teams engaged and motivated. Staff who feel appreciated are more likely to remain engaged and work effectively. We have all heard the expression ‘success breeds success’; teams that focus on and celebrate success create more success - it becomes part of the culture - the way things are done. Staff want to work in successful teams and celebrating reminds them of this.

Celebrating success is also a good way of remembering a shared purpose, helping teams to unify around agreed objectives/goals. It can reinvigorate energy levels and help to continue momentum.

Leaders have a key role to play in celebrating success. They can facilitate staff engagement and well-being by having conversations that focus on the positives, the strengths and the accomplishments of staff. By role modelling praise and recognition in effective and meaningful ways, they can also encourage peers to acknowledge each other too. Staff often know each other well because they work closely together; they are therefore in a great position to recognise when someone has done something well. Peer-to-peer praise can create a thriving and innovative workplace.

What should you celebrate?

There are many things that you can celebrate, but what is most important is getting started. If you wait to celebrate something that you think is really significant, it may be a long time coming and opportunities and momentum could be lost.

You could start by recognising people. Think about what is important to you and start to notice it. Giving feedback that is well prepared, motivating and developmental is a very effective way of celebrating success. This kind of recognition must feel genuine to the person receiving it, and so it should explain exactly what people have done well and be sincere e.g. ‘I saw you communicating very effectively with Mr Brown during his discharge planning. You listened actively and showed kindness and compassion’. You could do this face-to-face or by writing a thank you card or by sending an email. Compliments from patients should always be noticed and shared with individual staff and at handovers or at team meetings. If staff are named personally, copies of thank you cards can be created for their personal files.

You could work with your team to identify small targets – these could be related to your action plans. When these are reached, small celebrations could be planned. For example, creating a poster for display in the staff room, which identifies the people who have been involved, and what they have achieved; you could celebrate with cake or a fruit basket; you could invite your communications department to write a short article about what has been achieved for inclusion in newsletters. Involve the staff in identifying how they would like to celebrate – they may come up with some new and interesting ideas!


Celebrating success – noticing, appreciating and giving feedback