3 Surprising Reasons to Celebrate at Work

Cultivate fun and festivity in your workplace to boost morale - and the bottom line, too.

Apr 23, 2015
Celebrating at work

Create a workplace culture of celebration (Shutterstock) 

If you go to Las Vegas, make sure to visit the Zappos headquarters. You can schedule your visit online, and the Zappos van will come pick you up. As you walk into the building, you’ll encounter people chatting, smiling and saying hi to you. You’ll also see a big gong in the middle of the large office space.
Anyone—including you or any Zappos employee—can go up to the gong at any point and make a big announcement.
It can be an employee celebrating, “Hey! I just spoke to a customer who says he now loves us more than ever,” or a visitor saying, “Hey! I’m visiting from Europe and this is the coolest company I’ve ever seen!”

GET THE FACTS: 3 Infographics for a Good Day at Work

Why do Zappos and other innovative companies encourage celebration? Most workplaces make some effort, be it going out to lunch to recognize a colleague’s birthday or presenting awards to the top producers. But you don’t have to limit your celebrations to once or twice a year. Create a culture of celebration instead.
Here are three reasons you’ll be happy you did:

1. IT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER

Psychologists used to think that in order for people to grow closer to each other, they needed to share their deepest, darkest vulnerabilities. However, Shelly Gable, Ph.D. of the University of California at Santa Barbara turned those findings on their head recently, in one of the most groundbreaking pieces of research on human psychology in the last couple of decades.
Along with her colleagues, Gable found that asking dating couples to discuss positive events - i.e., to celebrate together - led to more closeness, better relationships and fewer breakups than discussing negative events. So go ahead. Ask your colleagues what’s going well or what they are most proud of, and notice what happens.

Colleagues drinking a beer together

Laughter brings people together (Shutterstock)

2. IT’S FREE AND EFFECTIVE

Zappos is the king of workplace celebration. Each time Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh congratulates an employee, he is using Frequent Recognition and Encouragement (FRE) - changing the tone of the workplace with a technique that is free to use and can result in a 42 percent boost in productivity for teams. Simply recognizing and celebrating progress together can result in a more productive team. 

READ ON: 5 Tried and Tested Ways to Succeed at Your Job

Celebrate Fridays. Celebrate birthdays. Celebrate the good weather with lunch outdoors. If you work remotely, you can celebrate virtually, like the education company EverFi does. Each month a plastic shark gets mailed to the team member who was nominated by his peers for accomplishing something big. The recipient takes a funny photo of himself with the shark and shares it with the team.

Colleagues congratulating each other

Give positive feedback to your colleagues, employees - and even your boss! (Shutterstock)

3. CELEBRATIONS REVERBERATE BEYOND THE MOMENT

Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discovered that positive emotions broaden our thinking - making us more open to new ideas. Next time you’re on a conference call, try opening with this question: “What’s one piece of good news, personally and/or professionally since we last talked?” In this way, we can encourage our minds to be open to new ideas as we dive into the agenda.

On your next conference call, remember that positive emotions broaden our thinking (Shutterstock)

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

12 Ways to Celebrate You
How to Achieve Workplace Well Being [INFOGRAPHIC]
7 Inspirational Dream Offices that Actually Exist

This article by Margaret H. Greenberg and Senia Maymin Ph.D. was originally published on Live Happy, and appears here with permission.