11 Ways to Celebrate your Coworkers

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At the Healthy Workforce Institute, we spend a lot of our time talking and writing about bullying and incivility, but let’s take a time-out from all of that!

Let’s talk about celebrating those glorious, wonderful coworkers who deserve to be recognized. Yes, I am referring to the nurses and members of the multidisciplinary team who make every day a treat.

When you can’t find a pen, they are beside you are offering three.  When you need help getting a patient to the restroom, they appear out of thin air and offer their timeless assistance. How would you survive a day without their love, dedication, support, and advice? The reality is, you can’t!

So, let’s take time to celebrate our coworkers. Why? Because research shows (and we know from experience) that quality relationships with our coworkers leads to us being more engaged and happier at work. And who doesn’t want to be happier at work? ………………………. Yes, you heard that right. SILENCE! We all want to be happier at work. How do we get started?

Well, I started by reaching out to my Facebook Healthy Workforce Institute Community and doing some data gathering by asking “How have you celebrated or been celebrated by your workers?” I received many great gestures that I will sprinkle amongst my list below. The celebration movement starts with us celebrating our coworkers.

Here are 11 Ways to Celebrate your Coworkers


  1. Just Celebrate it in the moment. Say It!

“Thank you, you are a lifesaver!” Use positive reinforcement language. Even if the situation was exhausting and tiring, make sure to offer a smile to your coworker and uttering those priceless words “you are awesome”. These words have a long-lasting positive effect on everyone’s day.


  1. Shout It Out to the Team

Every department has a monthly staff meeting. What if each agenda had time for wins and thank you to the team? What a way to spread the joy and celebration of each other’s kindness.


  1. Send a Celebration Email

No time during your day to send out the thanks and you feel the team needs to know how awesome every is? Then send an email! Your leaders can forward it to the department membership, and everyone can know about the great things being done.

A note from Jennifer on Facebook, “I was involved in a code with a poor outcome. However, I could not have been prouder of the teamwork during this situation. I work per diem and wanted the team to know I was proud of all and felt so supported by everyone, too. My leader forwarded it to the entire department, and it began an outpouring of replies of celebration to all.”  

Or, Write (or Draw) a Celebration Note

There is something about a handwritten note, even a post-it notes, that makes this girl smile! We all have different skills and levels of creativity. One colleague used to make me origami animals from gum wrappers. They did make me smile and feel special. Many departments also have kudos or thank you boards. Tracy wrote on Facebook that her department has a “thank tank” where each staff member writes a positive little note and they are displayed biweekly in the break room.


  1. Post the Celebration on Social Media

“Thank you to today’s team! We made a difference in the lives of our patients. Love you! “Most of us are on social media especially our younger generation staff. Not only do other team members get to see the posting but our friends and family. What a great way to celebrate!


  1. Celebrate with Snacks and Candy

Yummy! Snacks. I have used Kudos bars, Kind Bars, and Hugs and Kisses for team member celebrations. Of course, you can always get healthy options, but I find a celebration isn’t complete without a few calories attached to it.

A note from Sandi on Facebook, “My bosses got a soft pretzel tray to celebrate when I got my BSN. It was such a nice surprise!”


  1. Decorate their Workspace

Sue wrote on Facebook that “One birthday my office was filled with balloons and a banner. Nightshift had taken time out of their busy shift to celebrate with me!” Decorations and our workspaces all can vary but help put pep in someone’s step by making their space feel special.


  1. Order Lunch to Celebrate

Sometimes, we need to treat ourselves. When times are crazy and large groups are hungry, it is time to order pizza. It is a great way to celebrate when the week has been crazy and team members have stepped up to make sure all is well. This is a great way to really celebrate getting through tough times and supporting our appetites, too.


  1. Surprise Coffee Break

We all need a pick-up mid-day. This is a great way to celebrate victories of the moment and creates a chance to pause and reflect as you sip your hot coffee with your team. 


  1. Potluck Celebrations

One of the big Facebook winners was potlucks. Mike wrote on Facebook that “every month we did a diversity luncheon/dinner where you were encouraged to bring in an ethnic food from your family or origin. They were shared recipes and family stories.”  I have even seen ideas for dip parties, appetizers, and desserts. Each brings with it time to stop, reflect, celebrate and of course, eat!


  1. Celebrate by Nominating for an Award

Nominating someone for an award is an excellent way to celebrate a job well done. Awards range from department employee of the month, annual preceptor and nurse’s week awards, to the Daisy Award for the hospital. Maybe the award nomination will turn into another reason to celebrate with a potluck.


  1. Milestone Celebration Parties

Many wrote into Facebook about celebration parties. Departments like to celebrate new hires arriving, staff moving on, retirements, weddings, baby showers, award winners. You name it. We like to celebrate moments in our staff’s lives. Gemma wrote on Facebook, “at my leaving party, I received an antique ginger jar filled with delicate, crystallized ginger pieces. It was beautiful.” These celebrations can be meaningful. In Gemma’s case her memories date to 1985 of that beautiful jar!

I hope you are able to use many of my 11 Ways to Celebrate Your Coworkers this year. We all like to be celebrated and welcome a chance to get together.

Take care. Be kind. Stay Connected.

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2 thoughts on “11 Ways to Celebrate your Coworkers”

    1. Renee Thompson

      You’re welcome Tammy!! Let us know if you have any other ideas or suggestions. We love finding ways to celebrate the goodness in healthcare!

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