2017 was the beginning of a new thing at Chillibreeze. We created a company WIG (Wildly Important Goal), and many of the teams created a Team WIG that, if reached, would have a direct impact on achieving our Big Company WIG.
2017 is the year Chillibreeze leaders committed to being better at celebrating reaching team goals.
Listen to Fanai Lalthansanga, leader of the Chillibreeze Creative Team, tells us about the impact celebrating has on him and his team.
Q: When was the first time your team celebrated reaching a goal?
Fanai: It was in April 2017 when our team met their first team WIG, and at the same time we exceeded our monthly financial target for March.
It was the perfect time for celebration because it was the most outstanding achievement for the team. We could see the impact of our team’s contribution to the company, Big WIG. The team pushed hard, they kept up the momentum all through the month, and the Creative Team was the first team in Chillibreeze to meet their Team Wildly Important Goal (WIG) after the implementation within the organization.
Q: That’s fantastic Fanai. Tell me, how did you announce to the team this success?
Fanai: What makes me happy about being in a team with such great people is their enthusiasm and engagement with what is going on. We were all aware of our goal and had been tracking weekly. At the end of the month, I announced: “Guys, we achieved our financial target this month!!!” the room was quiet, at the corner of the room I heard a very fading “yaaaayyy.”
I said, “No! It’s not how we roll.” 😎 I took a simple step by taking a screenshot of the achievement and sent it to all the team’s monitors. Suddenly the team went wild. High fives around the room, and shouts of “GREAT JOB GUYS, we did it!”
Q: Did you and the team do anything special to celebrate reaching these goals?
Fanai: Yes, this was special. Chillibreeze treated the entire team, and we all went out for dinner at City Hut Family Dhaba. While this was a special night out, we also celebrate lots of things. Birthdays, anniversaries, and quick wins. We sometimes buy cakes or some snacks. Random and spontaneous celebrations are fun!
Q: Why is celebrating major team achievements important?
Fanai: Celebrations come from everywhere. From a simple “High-Five” to “going out for dinner as a team.” Small celebrations are key ingredients that help us achieve the bigger goals. They keep us engaged, excited, and motivated to reach the top. When we finally reach the top, the team feels that challenging work pays off. The struggle was worth it, and it feels rewarding at the end of the day.
Q: What is the proof that celebration works?
Fanai: Celebration, to the team and me it is about bonding and strengthening the relationship and the team spirit. We recognize each other, our roles and unique contribution to the success. This recognition is extremely helpful to a team. This awareness helps us go to the next battle or adventure and push our potential to accomplish more.
It impacted each of the team members because as a human being, we are all naturally wired to think for ourselves and we all want to be appreciated for what we do at the end of the day. When we celebrate, we feel appreciated, we feel recognized for what we have done, it is motivating all of us to do more and achieve greater things.
Q: Did the momentum last?
Fanai: The momentum is one thing that is always the most critical one. Yes, there are times when the momentum doesn’t last, and it drops down a little along the way. In the Creative Team, we take action when this happens. It’s amazing to see the team members helping each other, pushing each other to get back on the horse when we see each other going down. Basically, as a team, we have been able to maintain the momentum for the past 7 months fairly.
Q: Did your team want to stretch the next goal?
Fanai: YES! One of the example I can share here is when the team members looked at the hourly rate of the team within the past six months. What we have achieved so far was challenging. But the team decided to up that goal four notches higher.
Q: Why do we need to celebrate at work?
Fanai: Celebration can be perceived differently by many different people. Coming from a sports environment, a celebration can be as small as a quick high five, fist pump or any of such sort. When we sit and work during the working hours, it’s important to keep ourselves excited. With the little achievements, we make like cracking the code, or discovering a new way of designing, or learning a new method of doing things; we encourage each other by celebrating the little success we achieved all through the day. These quick wins help us achieve bigger goals.
Q: What’s your advice to other team leaders about the best way to celebrate?
Fanai: Celebration is at its best when you as a leader and the team feel the whole journey together, fail or success. You can even celebrate with a cup of coffee, but it’s the challenging work and effort behind the results that matter the most. To me, a true celebration is not about what you eat or drink to celebrate. It’s about the feeling you get through all the work and effort along the way. The sense of achievements, accomplishment, joy, inspiration, and motivation that get built-up because of what you did. The feeling of wanting to do more is what I call a celebration.
I would advise my fellow leaders to give yourself time to be there with your team members, learn their weaknesses and strengths, coach them, guide them, encourage them when they are tired. Motivate them when they are weak. Inspire them to do more when they do great. Let them feel your presence; you feel their hard work and their efforts. Be sure that you as a leader are giving your best and your most excellent effort. At the end of the day, fail or succeed, I can assure that you and your team will feel accomplished because you knew that you gave your best.