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16 Thoughtful Ways To Celebrate Your Tech Team’s ‘Wins’

For a tech team, there’s nothing quite like the successful launch of a new tech…

For a tech team, there’s nothing quite like the successful launch of a new tech project. Tech leaders who have guided the long process want to ensure their team members receive the recognition, rewards and thanks they deserve. But while a big launch is always a cause for celebration, it’s also important not to forget all the hard work that went into it along the way—and the important, day-to-day tasks that keep operations running smoothly.

The hard work and dedication your team members bring needs to be recognized not only on red-letter days but also whenever you spot them doing good, innovative work. Below, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council share thoughtful ways to celebrate your tech team’s wins—whether large or small.  

1. Remember The Efforts Of Everyone Involved

It is critical to stop and celebrate achievements according to their impact. At the same time, it is very important to keep in mind that not everyone from the team benefits from the same visibility, especially on a tech team. Success can happen only through the joint efforts of everyone involved in a project, and it’s a leader’s job to make sure they give credit and reward people fairly. – Bogdan Nicoară, Bright Spaces

2. Recognize The Team On Your Social Platforms

Make the team feel honored in your monthly meetings, “Fun Fridays” and so on. Provide them with recognition internally and on social platforms. Creating a badge that says “Great Work” and sharing it on LinkedIn with their picture can be a good way to make them feel recognized. Money is not always the way to motivate. – Bhavna Juneja, Infinity, a Stamford Technology Company


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3. Send A Personal Email

Celebrating wins after critical projects is essential for any successful leader. Many companies follow through with public recognition via company meetings, emails or an event. I’ve found that a personal email directly to the individual calling out their specific contribution is most effective. One-on-one communication builds mutual trust and respect between leaders and their teams. – Scott Hambuchen, First Orion

4. Celebrate Regularly And Often

Communication is critical when recognizing the hard work that went into a tech project launch, and recognition can take various forms. We’ve celebrated hard work through daily Slack channel shoutouts, weekly CEO notes or videos, our monthly “Show & Tell” series, biannual “Lightning Talk” sessions to highlight the project companywide, and much more. A celebration should never be forgotten. – Gregg Johnson, Invoca

5. Learn What Kind Of Recognition Each Person Prefers

Different contributors like to be recognized in different ways. I’ve had some teammates who like big kudos at the all-hands or even a callout on social media. Others much prefer a thoughtfully written note just for their viewing pleasure. Know your audience and—contrary to the usual advice of “treat others the way you want to be treated”—take the time to learn how they want to be treated, and do that. – Jennifer Minella, Carolina Advanced Digital

6. Recognize Their Work In Progress

I believe people on the team should receive their recognition and rewards while a project is still in the making, not just after it has launched. If you recognize your team’s efforts and long hours on a daily or weekly basis, you won’t forget to do it amid the excitement. Focus on your team, listen to them, be empathetic and show interest in every stage of the project—from the beginning till the end. – Alex Pasykov, Hily Corp

7. Celebrate Innovating And Learning

Focus your celebrations on learning, not winning. This encourages experimenting, calculated risk-taking and, ultimately, innovating. When we exclusively focus on success, we inadvertently suggest that mistakes are not valuable and should be avoided at all costs. Yet we learn as much, if not more, from our mistakes. They allow us to grow individually and collectively. – Olga V. Mack, Parley Pro

8. Reward Doing The ‘Little Things’ Right

Consistently reward your team for doing the “little things” right—that ultimately leads to the big wins. The big wins tend to come with more exposure and recognition, but it’s the dedication to the process—and all the little things that go unnoticed to most—that need to be noticed and called out daily. – Gavin Fabian, HST Pathways

9. Share And Learn From Both Successes And Challenges

We do a few things that work well. Every Friday, we have weekly meetings to showcase our teams’ great work. We invite teams to talk about their projects, successes and the challenges they had to overcome to see them through—which can be equally important. We then invite the rest of the company to ask questions to dig a bit deeper into the work. It does wonders for morale. – Rick Song, Persona

10. Reflect Together On The Journey In A Social Setting

Invest time in celebrating as a team. Take a moment to say, “Thank you.” Reflecting on the journey together over coffee or lunch helps everyone realize that we are all in this together, builds trusted partnerships and inspires even more success. This is important, because a launch is just the starting point; the team’s ongoing passion is critical to incorporating user feedback and scaling adoption post-launch! – Anshul Sheopuri, IBM

11. Share Good News Widely

Make an announcement. Good tech leaders understand that people want to receive recognition and support when they hit their goals. To shine a light on their achievement, make it a big deal. Make an announcement, give them a shoutout at the next meeting—share it with the entire company, your clients or even in a press release. – Adi Ekshtain, Amaryllis Payment Solutions

12. Reward Them With More Than Just Recognition

It is important to publicly recognize successful tech launches and the key contributors within the company. We provide free days off for the team, public recognition at an all-hands meeting and their choice of their next project or role if they are changing projects. – Susan Lang, XIL Health, LLC

13. Share Instant Rewards And Recognition Across Performance Categories

During a project, we reward our team members every month and quarter for various categories including “high flier,” delivery achievements and innovation. We sometimes provide instant recognition in the form of certificates and email campaigns to showcase the hard work. The idea behind giving instant recognition is to ensure an individual’s hard work is recognized while the project is going on and to motivate others. – Bhagvan Kommadi, ValueMomentum

14. Celebrate Together With Your Clients

Typically, our project managers send out internal emails to call out the cast and congratulate people. However, the best celebrations are with the customer. Go the extra mile and create a leave-behind for the customer so that they can socialize further within their ecosystem of sponsors, partners and vendors. Finally, invite the client over and celebrate together. – Cleve Gibbon, Wunderman Thompson

15. Create A Celebratory Video

Given we all receive way too many emails and documents to read, a short video clip describing the project, business benefits and key participants is a great way to inform the entire company and provide recognition for the team. – Mark Schlesinger, Broadridge Financial Solutions

16. Layer Formal And Informal Recognition

Layers of formal and informal recognition are needed, from spot bonuses to formal celebrations to hero and innovator awards. If you build a culture of building it right, rewarding those who worked hardest (and smartest) and tying incentive compensation to goal completion (including stretch goals), you will motivate individuals and teams to pursue and accomplish great things. – Peter Gregory, GCI Communications

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/12/02/16-thoughtful-ways-to-celebrate-your-tech-teams-wins/