You Did It! Now What? 7 Ways to Celebrate Project Successes

Congratulations! You finished another project! Maybe you were helping to develop an app, design a website, launch a new product, throw an event, or relocate a whole office. Whatever the task, you were up for it. And even if there were obstacles, timeline changes, and many, many status reports along the way, you did it!

And the question remains…now what?

Usually the answer is, well, you just move onto another project. But hold on a minute. Finishing a project is a big deal. So before you dive into what’s next, take a moment to celebrate your achievement and recognize your team for their hard work!

This recognition is also a boon for morale and productivity. As Great Place to Work found, employees who feel recognized are 2.2X more likely to bring new ideas forward and 2.0X more likely to go above and beyond in their work.

So, next time you think about just checking “Complete” on your workflow and moving onto the next project, take a moment to breathe, reflect, and, most importantly, celebrate.

Not sure how? We’ve got you covered.

Here are seven fun and (mostly) easy ways to celebrate project successes:

1. Plan a virtual workshop

In-person workshops are good, too! But if your team works remotely or it’s easier on people’s schedules, you can plan a virtual group workshop or class that everyone can enjoy.

As profitability consultant Benjamin Wann wrote: “For a good reason, virtual events with a wellness or crafts focus are becoming increasingly popular. Throughout the pandemic, everyone has taken up new hobbies such as online cooking, yoga, baking, and calligraphy. Invite a sommelier to lead a group wine tasting to take things to the next level!”

2. Host an awards ceremony

Give some public recognition to project participants by throwing a little awards ceremony. People could vote for different awards categories, give away prizes, and enjoy some snacks and drinks in the middle — or at the end of — their work day. 

According to The PMO Squad: “People love to see their name (and project) in lights. At the next company meeting, you could make sure the project and its team members are called out for their success. Have them stand up in the room — or better yet — come up on stage when the project sponsor is talking about how this project is bringing value to the business and bottom line.”

3. Try an escape room

Your team already escaped the maze of a tricky project. Now, let loose and have some fun by trying an actual escape room. Work together to decode riddles, find clues, and embark on a team adventure that doesn’t involve Slack channels.

As Indeed put it, “When your team escapes, everyone gets to share in the victory. Escape rooms also offer the benefit of team-building because individuals work together to solve puzzles. Collaboration enables team members to show and share their skills, helping them feel good about themselves.”

4. Bond over drinks or a meal

Of course, there’s always the class celebration strategy: Go out for a meal or some drinks. Maybe you can try a new restaurant in town, for example, or hit up karaoke night at the favorite neighborhood watering hole.

“On one project we hired a private area in a pub and they catered with bar snacks too,” wrote Elizabeth Harrin of The Rebel’s Guide to Project Management. “We actually got a lot more food than we expected, which was great.”

Too many people involved to make this work? Harrin has a recommendation for that, too: “We bulk bought bottles of wine (and some soft drinks too) from the local cash and carry. Then we made personalized gift vouchers.”

5. Go…paragliding?

Lunch or coffee not exciting enough for your team? Get out into the fresh air and plan something that really gets people’s adrenaline pumping. 

For example, Muhammad Altaf, PMP and senior manager of insights and data at Capgemini, took his team paragliding after they completed the first phase of a particularly difficult project.

“I wanted to show them they could do something that might scare them — if we gather our courage. Eventually, we all flew independently,” Altaf said. “The next six months of the project were tough, but the confidence and positive attitude we built from paragliding helped us deliver the project successfully — in time and on budget with better quality than expected.”

6. Spread the love on LinkedIn

Gifts are sweet and team events are fun. But one of the best gifts a manager can give a project contributor is a testimonial or recommendation to help boost their career.

As one writer noted for The Everyday Project Manager: “I recently offered to provide feedback from someone who had done a great job and she asked instead if I would leave her a short recommendation on LinkedIn. I thought this was a great idea — she certainly deserved it and it required the same amount of effort from me. But rather than being a one off comment in her current role, the feedback would be there for all future potential employers to see as well.”

7. Take a self-care day

No matter how enjoyable or celebratory, sometimes work events can still feel like…you know, work. So, to commemorate the end of a tough project, you could always give yourself and your team the ultimate gift: time off. Whether it’s just an afternoon to hang out in the park, a day to chill at home, or an hour to do yoga, a little self-care can go a long way.

“Surprisingly, non-monetary incentives work wonders for boosting employee engagement,” Faye Wai wrote for Jostle. “Give your hardworking employees a well-earned break with a simple bonus day off to relax, spend time with family, or just take a break from the pressures of work.”
Want more causes for celebration in the future? Help your teams build successful projects with Proggio.