Stop and Smell the Roses: Catholic Charities Celebrates Successes and Employee Appreciation

We live in a non-stop, hyperactive, and over-achievement oriented world – it’s 24-7 and it seems to be getting busier. There are lots of reasons for this – a constant bombardment of information, competition, and funding pressures to name a few. In the business world, we often go from one success to another without asking ourselves to stop and smell the proverbial roses or to celebrate our accomplishments.

Our Executive Team getting ready to serve lunch

Our Executive Team getting ready to serve lunch

Well, on May 5 – Cinco de Mayo, we decided to stop and smell the roses and to celebrate our successes at our All Staff Meeting. It was the perfect time. We had just started our new fiscal year on May 1, and the board of directors had approved the new budget and new strategic plan.

We started our celebration by first recognizing all of the accomplishments by the staff in the prior twelve months. We did an exercise where we put four chart pads (24” x 32”) on the wall and staff started listing our successes. We filled nine chart pads with 73 accomplishments for the year. They were truly amazing successes.

Celebrating accomplishments is important for everyone. It unifies staff around positive outcomes and it reminds us that a good and focused goal setting process works – set the goals, create strategies to achieve it, and then reach the goals you set. Celebrating successes also motivates staff to continue to deliver good work for the clients and mission of the agency. It keeps staff focused on the positive instead of the negative and it builds momentum. It also allows everyone to get away from the day to day tasks and grind and give staff a renewed energy and a way to connect with colleagues and coworkers that is not work related. Lastly, it reminds everyone that they work for a winning organization.

After we identified the 73 items, we watched a new 3-minute video created by Catholic Charities that will be shown in hopefully all of the parishes for the Annual May Parish Appeal. All the actors in the video are staff and volunteers.

And since it was Cinco de Mayo, we had a catered Mexican lunch brought in for the staff. The executive team donned their aprons and served the staff – it was fun. The reality is that I am here to serve the staff – NOT the other way around. My responsibility is to create a safe space for people to come to work and do what they do best. To give them the tools to be successful, to provide leadership, coaching and mentoring, to listen to them, support them, and to help them grow and accomplish. They then are here to serve our clients and each other. When we do all of that well, we end up with nine chart pads filled with 73 accomplishments and we celebrate our successes and each other – pretty good stuff.

We also know that we serve you. We ask you: What have we accomplished? How have we helped you? In the comments section below, take a moment to give us your thoughts.

With kindest regards until next time,

Chuck