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Importance of celebrating the little wins

Humans thrive in being appreciated.

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Humans thrive in being appreciated.

Every organization has its own mission, vision and core values. Most of these encompass where they see themselves as an organization in the many years that their business will continue to thrive. And every business has its set targets that help them achieve their mission and vision. Every department within the company has its set KPIs that can either be measured monthly, quarterly or semi-annually depending on the company structure. As such, it isn’t unlikely to find every individual in an organization with their set targets that they need to deliver on without which there might be dire consequences.

In my many years of working – having both worked in a startup and in large corporations – one similar thing between these two entities is the desire to meet every set target. The focus on which wins to celebrate is what sets these two entities apart. What do I mean? Some of the large, well-established corporates tend to focus more on the big wins – the big client they closed or the big deal they signed – they are the big fish in the market and small wins are just well, small wins. A small win doesn’t have as big an impact as a large one does in these large corporations. However, for startups or Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), a small win – whether a deal or a client – deserve a celebration. It simply shows that they are doing something right and that their business is on the right track.

Celebrating every win, no matter how little of a win it is, is something that organizations – big or small – need to actively do. You may ask why. It’s simple. Every win; big or small, was an effort put by someone from the team. Humans thrive in being appreciated. Whether it’s giving them a compliment about their dressing or hair or shoes; they’ll feel special and want to put in more effort. The same applies to work. If a team member helps get an article written about your organization or gets that client who was difficult to close agree to buy even for a quarter of the value you would have liked to sell your product for, they still need a pat on their back for the effort they put in. Here are a few reasons why celebrating every little win is important for organizations:

Effort and time

In a game of Chess, every move is important. Same applies to a game of basketball, every team member whether the defender or point guard, have a role to play. Their role and every move they make on the court, determines whether they win or lose. And with all this, lots of practice, time and effort to become better have been put in place. Same applies to organizations. For each department to succeed the team must work together. If their effort bears fruit, no matter how little, that win needs to be celebrated to keep the team motivated. Remember they put in their time and effort and you don’t know what extra miles they covered to achieve get that win.

Improves performance

Getting that tap on the back for the team could be what sets the record for a great performance. How? If team leaders take note of the little wins that teams make and they are celebrated every step of the way, it raises morale in the team. Team members will be more inclined to work hard or smart thus achieving the bigger goals or tasks set out for them. You should celebrate each effort each team member put in. If this is done right, you will not only have a hard-working team, but a team that is more productive.

Have the overall goal in mind

Every journey begins with a small step. Babies don’t walk before they crawl. It takes a few months maybe, some up to two years but eventually, they walk. Same case applies to corporates. For that monthly or quarterly target to be met, small steps must be taken. These small steps are what lead to the eventual win of the bigger goal. By celebrating every little win, you are simply making the team realize how much closer they are to achieving their final set targets or goal. This, keeps the team going.


We all know that competition is what is mostly used to find winners who are eventually rewarded. Well we are not advising that you break the team effort, but it’s also advisable to celebrate individual wins. What it does is that it makes team members fell appreciated in what they do and how what they do reflects the overall goal. And who wouldn’t like to get rewarded at work? This in turn creates a competitive spirit which if handled the right way, creates a sense of satisfaction to the team members. This can result in better scores from the team.

As a leader, it’s your place to recognize and celebrate these little wins. Define your leadership. This is what sets great leaders apart. This is what creates teams that are more productive and are always looking for ways to outshine each other. It helps team members perform to the best of their abilities and excel at what they are skilled to do. With such, you will never have to worry about talent retention issues and employer branding.Celebrating the little wins also allows the team to be more productive. We all know work can become monotonous but setting time apart to celebrate can help the team put down their guard and strengthen the team spirit. And no, it doesn’t have to be a big pool party; a few wine bottles and a few games might be all you need to raise your team’s spirit some more.

Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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