Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018.
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 14 cities across the U.S. this fall.
Gain the skills you need to rise to the next level in your career. Jon us at SHRM's Leadership Development Forum, October 2-3 in Boston.
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
ATLANTA--To build a healthy workplace culture through celebration, organizations—and HR professionals—should be guided by “GPS,” according to Scott Friedman, a certified speaking professional, author and humorist. Not a global positioning system, but by gratitude, play and surprise.
During his June 24 session titled “The Celebration Factor,” held here at the Society for Human Resource Management's 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition, Friedman shared examples of practices used by companies around the world to “acknowledge all that is good”—his definition of celebration. Organizations don’t need to invest a lot of time and money in celebration, he noted, but they do need to be sure that all employees are included in related activities.
Gratitude. Friedman suggested that participants practice the daily discipline of gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal, noting good events of the day as well as what they learned when situations didn’t go as expected. Similarly, employers should find ways to share and celebrate mistakes. “You want people to take intelligent risks,” he said. “You need to encourage people to innovate.”
One company uses the “Post-it Party” concept to convey gratitude to a particular person. All it takes, he said, is for a group of people to take three minutes to write down good things about somebody they want to celebrate and affix the notes to the person’s work space.
Play. Friedman encouraged audience members to use the “hang loose” hand gesture to remind themselves to let go of worry, anxiety and pressure and maintain a sense of humor. Another option, he said, is to take a “one minute humor break” by substituting numbers for words of profanity and using them as needed, or by celebrating the first stressful event of the day with a shout of “woo hoo!”
Another company holds an annual “bring your inner child to work day.” Employees are encouraged to wear pajamas, watch cartoons and play kid games. It was at that point that Friedman demonstrated the effectiveness of play by asking the audience to join him in dancing the “hokey pokey.”
Surprise. Finding ways to surprise employees is the most important element to making celebration work, Friedman said. For example, he surprised his long-term assistant by asking her to get something from his car trunk. When she opened it, she found her college-aged son inside, there to celebrate her 50th birthday.
The GPS mentality requires HR professionals, business leaders and people managers to pay attention to what really matters to employees; to what gives them the most joy, he said.
“To take care of your employees is a wonderful way to create differentiation and to attract and keep the best talent,” he noted.
Friedman’s book Celebrate! Lessons Learned from the World's Most Admired Organizations, Punchlines, Pitfalls, and Powerful Programs and Using Humor for a Change, originally released in Asia, will be released in the U.S. in late 2012.
Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Choose from dozens of free webcasts on the most timely HR topics.
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies