Celebrate Before, Not After

How often did you hear at your job (or anywhere else for that matter) that:

“If you work harder you will be more successful. If you are more successful then you will be happier.”

“We are successful when we manage to get that sales target.”

“We have something to celebrate when our project goes live.”


In some sense this is quite logical. The normal and socially accepted approach is often that you get rewarded for things you have done well. This happens in pre-school, high school, university and finally at the office. An important question is however: Why do we do this?

In general, the answer is that we perceive that when we indicate that there is an award when the project is ended successfully, people will work harder to make sure they get that reward. Whether this reward is happiness, money or some cake doesn’t really matter. The fact

that there is an award is enough.

A positive workforce is quite important for your organization. According to scientific research discussed by S. Lyubomirsky it shown that happiness provides superior productivity, resilience, less turnover, greater sales and better keeping jobs. It is proven that our brains work 31% more productive when we are happy. Shouldn’t we then ask ourselves whether the above approach, in which we reward people only when a project is finished, will give us the benefits we need.

According to a research done by StepStone, 57% of the European workforce are happy. Because happiness seems to be such a critical factor for the success of organizations, we need to find a way to improve this.

So what are possible methods to improve positivity in your workforce:

  • Stop giving rewards after a project is finished, but start with a big celebration for the fact that you are privileged to do such a great project that is important for the company.
  • Start each weekly meeting with a group round where everyone tells two positive stories he or she experienced last week. This will learn your brain to re-experience happy moments.
  • Finally, give random acts of kindness in the office. A manager should send an email with sincere appreciation every day to one of his employees. And colleagues could do the same among each other.

We should be more friendly to each other, we should appreciate each other more and we should enjoy our time at work. This is not only of great importance for the employee, but also for the company.
Let’s start with a celebration shall we?!


Celebrate - Generatie Y