How Celebrating Small Wins Boosts Team Morale + Productivity


It’s time to celebrate small wins, wouldn’t you agree?

Not just the BIG wins like when the team reaches a dream milestone or celebrates an annual holiday party, but the minute day-to-day celebrations that too often go unnoticed and overlooked. Small wins like:

🥳 Recognizing out-of-the-box creative ideas 

🥳 Covering for a sick team member 

🥳 Acknowledging when people really listen

🥳 Appreciating the “done is better than perfect” moments

When we fail to celebrate these small yet important daily interactions, we actually begin to devalue them in our company culture. Scaling Intimacy Founder, Jenny Sauer-Klein, often says, “what you appreciate appreciates” and it is so true! 

Research carried out by the Harvard Business Review in 2011 and by the Greater Good Science Center shows that celebrating smaller and regular signs of progress has a powerful and positive impact on employees. By acknowledging and appreciating small wins, we can actually increase:

🙌 Engagement

🙌 Motivation

🙌 Happiness 

🙌 Creativity

🙌 Sense of achievement

🙌 Productivity


With so many people talking about “quiet quitting” these days 🙄 we can’t help but feel that managers who want their team to go above and beyond at work, might need to celebrate minor milestones more! 🎉

When colleagues hear that even the small things they do are making a positive impact on others and the work at large; it makes them feel seen, validated, and it boosts morale! When people are recognized and appreciated for their actions, it increases the chances they will do it again! 

Here are 2 experiences from the Play on Purpose Facilitation Library to help you integrate appreciation, gratitude, and celebration in your next team meeting or offsite:

🎊 Rampage of Appreciation (virtual or in person)

This is an uplifting and high energy exercise that invites and encourages everyone to appreciate themselves and others. It is a great way of practicing “what you appreciate, appreciates.” 


  • Invite people to get in small groups of 3 or 4.
  • One person at a time will have 2 minutes to go on a “rampage of appreciation” where they talk, stream of consciousness, without stopping or pausing, about all the wonderful things in their life (or work or health etc) that they are grateful for and appreciative of. They are encouraged to stand and use their whole body, face and voice to celebrate all that is awesome, from the small details to the big things.
  • The listener(s) are actively supporting during the 2 minutes, and cheering the speaker on.
  • At the end of the 2 minutes, each group can have a short celebration, which can consist of cheering, high fives, whatever feels appropriate. 
  • Then have each person in the group have a chance to go on their rampage of appreciation.

Note: You can also do the same activity but in reverse! 1 listener is showered with appreciation from the 2-3 others in their small group, who celebrate all the things they are grateful for about that one colleague. 

🏆 Biggest Fan (in-person)

Since we may not feel used to celebrating in the workplace, easing in with an energizer like “Biggest Fan” can help to skyrocket the energy in the room, get participants cheering for each other and wanting the best for one another. This game is great for getting team members to focus on the “we” instead of “me.”


  • Make sure everyone first knows and agrees on how to play rock, paper, scissors (you’d be surprised how many different versions exist across cultures!) 
  • In this game everyone begins walking around the room. As soon as you make eye contact with someone, you begin playing rock, paper, scissors.
  • If both people throw the same symbol, they do the countdown again until someone wins.
  • The person who loses the round becomes the biggest fan of the winner, and joins their team, standing behind them and cheering their name.
  • They walk through the space as a group of 2, and two winners will now face off with rock, paper, scissors. The losing team will now join the winning team, standing behind the winner in a line and cheering their name.
  • Continue this process until it comes down to 2 people facing off in an ultimate rock, paper, scissors battle, with the whole group cheering in 2 teams behind them. Ultimately one person wins the whole game and everyone does a cheer and victory dance for them.

These team-building experiences can certainly make a difference, however if you want to build a habit of gratitude and celebration in your workplace, it is important to be consistent and regularly appreciate the small wins each day.

Here are some bite-sized ways you can integrate celebration into your culture more consistently:

  • Add a “shoutouts and celebrations” or “significant small wins” channel on Slack to infuse more appreciation asynchronously.
  • Integrate platforms like to regularly reward those who have been recognized for their acts of kindness or valuable contributions.
  • Create a team ritual that involves kudos and shoutouts at the start of weekly meetings.
  • Share on the company’s social media page when a colleague has gone above and beyond.
  • Regularly highlight a “team member of the month” at your company all-hands.

It’s important to remember that it takes ALL roles and seniority levels to integrate small celebrations into the company culture. Leaders are encouraged to role model appreciation, however colleagues and peers can actively recognize each other too. As financial executive Charles Schwab stated, you can never have enough praise in the workplace:

‘I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement… I am hearty in my appreciation and lavish in my praise.” – Charles Schwab

Want to celebrate with us?🥳

⚡ Then be sure to join our upcoming Virtual Connection Lab on the topic of Celebration on November 16 at 11am PST | 2pm EST with Gary Ware (Corporate Facilitator + Author at Breakthrough Play) and Jenny Sauer-Klein (founder at Play On Purpose).⚡

In this interactive session, you will learn and experience 2 new exercises on celebration that can bring more positivity, enthusiasm, and momentum to your meetings and projects.

Use coupon code “CELEBRATIONBLOG” to register for FREE if it’s your first time joining a Virtual Connection Lab. Sign up here or click below.👇

Sign up here!