We’ve asked some bloggers and friends to share their favorite ways of celebrating team wins.  Below is a compilation of suggestions from clinical and research teams to serve as inspiration for celebrations in your group.

Step 1 – Recognize the accomplishments.

  • passing qualifying exam
  • thesis defense
  • postdoc departure
  • new hires
  • first-author paper
  • paper accepted
  • grant awarded

Step 2 – Pause. Bask in the moment. An important step easily overlooked.

Step 3 – Shine some light and celebrate however possible. Some of these fabulous traditions will be waiting for us when COVID gets out of the way.

  • personal note in a book that is relevant to the lab/team
  • personalized memento (e.g., belt buckle, photo/frame)
  • a perpetual trophy that is passed from first-author to first-author
  • champagne toast – bottle signed by honoree(s) and kept in office/lab
  • champagne toast – honoree pops the cork and cork is glued wherever it hits the ceiling (cork is labeled with occasion and date)
  • pizza party organized by honoree(s)
  • “decorate to destruction” the desk of honoree(s) (e.g., glitter, silly string)
  • food, lots of food – meals out, treats brought in
  • treats, pandemic version – coordinated treat delivery to team members that are enjoyed together via Zoom.
  • boating trip
  • Slack #feelgood channel to post highlights and congrats
  • local-themed care packages for new hires
  • lab swag (e.g., stickers, masks, socks, mugs)
  • arcade team challenge
  • paying it forward – extended lunch to shop for adopt-a-family programs
  • gift cards
Do you have a favorite tradition to add to this list?  Share in the comments to help spread the good vibes.

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1 Comment

I strongly agree with you that we don’t celebrate our colleagues accomplishments enough. I try to celebrate the milestones in my junior faculty’s careers – particularly first major training grant and first R01-sized grant. I think those are massive. I also get brass nameplates for their doors, when they get doors with offices, even if they’re former janitorial closets.

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