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Team Building Celebration Plan -- Perfect For Any Time of Year
Denise OBerry

Copyright 2005 Denise OBerry

When was your last team celebration? Have you been way too busy to bother? Sometimes we get so caught up in day-to-day work that we don't take the time to step back and celebrate success. Some teams may even consider team celebrations as "silly."

It's critical to celebrate success if you want your team to maintain their high performance. Successes are the "motivating fuel" that keeps all of us pushing toward achieving the "bigger and better" goals that we set.

What types of team interaction and discussions normally occur on a day-to-day basis with your team? If you're like most businesses, it's along the lines of the following:

- What's going wrong with the current project.

- Recovering from changes that impact your product or service schedule negatively.

- How to satisfy a disgruntled customer.

If all of your team interactions focus on what's wrong with your business, what happens over time? Team members lose sight of the positive things they do. This can have a demoralizing effect on a team and your business.

Team celebrations help a team bond together. This helps the members maintain focus on their common goals and direction. And, celebrations often help team members deal with stressful changes and prevent "burn-out." They provide revitalization for the team.

Has your team celebrated any successes lately? What did they celebrate? How did they celebrate? For some teams, it's necessary to add structure to the celebration process to ensure that they make the time. To do this, use our three-step process:

1. Identify What To Celebrate

2. Determine How To Celebrate

3. Create A Celebration Action Plan

1. Identify What To Celebrate

It's important to determine what events or activities the team should celebrate. These can be major events or events that help the team reach a milestone. Get your team together and brainstorm a list. Your list might look like the list below.

- Identifying and solving a major roadblock (e.g., customer or quality related issue).

- Taking on added responsibility.

- Adding new team members.

- Dealing with a project crisis.

With the group together, determine the activities your team wants to celebrate.

2. Determine How To Celebrate

Next, identify how you could celebrate. Again, with your team together, brainstorm some celebration activities. These don't have to be major. They could be fun stress relievers or activities that help make your team more visible to upper management. Some ideas are included below:

- Create a presentation for upper management highlighting the team's achievement. Present with all team members in attendance.

- Have the entire team meet with a customer during an on-site visit.

- Invite a senior manager to your team meeting.

- Bring snacks to a team meeting.

- Put congratulatory posters on the wall.

Determine how your team would like to celebrate. Remember, team celebrations don't have to be expensive, time consuming, or difficult to plan. Team celebrations can be formal or impromptu. The key of the team celebration is that it must be sincere.

3. Create A Celebration Action Plan

Create a celebration action plan for the team for (at least) the next six-month time frame. Once the action plan is created, have your team plan the first celebration that will occur in the coming months. This gives them something to look forward to while accomplishing team objectives.

It will take a little effort on your team's part to complete this process, but the pay back in productivity will be worth it. Get going. It's time to celebrate!

About the Author

Denise O'Berry (aka 'Team Doc') provides tools, tips and advice to help organizations build better teams. Find out more at

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