Making Small Victories Bigger

The Secret to Making Small Victories Bigger

By George Dickson on May 01, 2015

Small victories have the potential to become something much bigger, not through alchemy or magic, but through thoughtful strategy.

We recently shared an article on LinkedIn Pulse, listing several ways leaders can transform the small victories their team achieves on a regular basis into a sustainable, driving force for engagement. Most of the suggestions can be implemented easily, and at very little — if any — cost.

Here's some background on why increased acknowledgment and praise works, where most organizations fail, and how to begin transforming your team's small victories into something much bigger:

Why It Works

In a survey recently conducted by LinkedIn, workers were asked where they find fulfillment in their work. Over a third of the respondents mentioned praise from either their boss, their co-worker, or a client/customer as a major factor in their sense of satisfaction at work.

It's important to understand that whether recognition comes from a co-worker, a manager, a client, or anyone else, it's priceless. It doesn't have to come from a manager to be meaningful — it just has to be present in the moment where it can make the most impact.

Where Most Fail

In many companies, recognition and rewards based on work performance are trapped in management or HR silos, where only a few people have the power and the incentive to recognize and reward the myriad contributions made by others.

In these systems, it's both a manager's prerogative and their burden to survey all the activity within their domain, decide what achievements are worthy of praise, choose who deserves recognition and rewards for their achievements, and finally, to administer it. This inevitably leads to a system where contributions go unnoticed, noticed too late — or worse — noticed, but not recognized.

How You Can Accomplish It

Short-circuiting that bureaucratic process by giving your entire team the ability to publicly recognize and reward their colleagues is one of the easiest ways to transform small victories into a huge win.

With a larger set of eyes positioned closer to the action, there's a greater opportunity for the small victories your employees achieve on a regular basis to be recognized and rewarded in the moment, before the impact fades. Employees who are regularly recognized for their hard work are more likely to be engaged and invested in it.

Incentivizing and supporting a company culture where small victories are continually recognized and rewarded costs nothing, but the return on that investment is gigantic. There are several tools available to make recognizing employees simple, and most are easily affordable.

Try taking this first step toward recognizing and rewarding small victories, and you'll see how big they can become.

Written by George Dickson

George Dickson

George manages content and community at Bonusly. He's dedicated to strengthening organizational cultures through thoughtful leadership and frequent recognition.