Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

Motivate Employees by Celebrating Small Wins

A growing body of research suggests that the concept of “small wins” in the workplace is one of the key ingredients for successful employee motivation and one of the most effective ways to begin the process of changing your workplace culture. Small wins can have a disproportionate amount of power and influence beyond the achievement they represent.     

Yet, in one survey of senior leaders, 95% of the respondents listed “supporting progress” as the least most important motivator at work, contrary to what all the research suggests!

So if you’re a leader, don’t discount the importance of talking up, recognizing and celebrating the small changes and minor victories in your workplace. And even more importantly, allowing employees the freedom to implement their own ideas at work is one of the most motivating things you can do.

When you start a new program at work, finish a meeting, or come back jazzed from a conference, immediately implementing some small and easily-done ideas can create a snowball effect that helps build momentum and encourages even the most cynical (“we’ll believe it when we see it”) employees to see that bigger change is possible. Again, it’s the old saw: actions speak louder than words. 

If you’re an employee, remind your supervisor of the importance of small wins not only to your own sense of accomplishment, but for the success of the entire team. And show your excitement about the small wins yourself – if your leaders sense your enthusiasm, the easier it will be to create even more small wins that could cascade into enormous, inspiring accomplishments!

Copyright, Michael Kerr, January 2103.   For invaluable insights, ideas, inspiration and a bit of fun thrown into for good measure, sign up for the raved about weekly newsletter Humor at Work to the left of this page or at

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