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Tips on celebrating success from YoungMinds

5 November 2019

As a mental health charity, at YoungMinds we spend a huge amount of time sharing messages about self-care and the importance of looking after our wellbeing. A big part of positive wellbeing is self-love – accepting and recognising all the stuff that makes you great! This can be hard to do, but your workplace can do a lot to help.

I asked our comms team what they think we do best to help make them feel proud of themselves and their work. Here are their top picks:

Kudos Box

We have ‘kudos for colleagues box’ which staff fill with anonymous notes recognising and thanking colleagues. Every all-staff meeting we pass the box around and everyone reads out a note. These messages are also circulated by email no one misses out.

Acknowledging the small things

“I really appreciate how every time I’ve done a good job with something, someone will always let me know I’ve done a good job, or that they can see how much effort I have made. Those little acknowledgements really help me to feel more positive about the work I’m doing.”

Nazifa, media and campaigns assistant

“The really nice thing about working here so far is the effort that people make with things like birthday lunches and going out for coffees to discuss projects. It never feels like a complacent atmosphere and I think it’s those small things which contribute to that!”

Charlotte, policy and parliamentary officer

  “I love learning about the ‘little’ successes. Not just the campaign wins or the major new funding secured, but the “we just got to 40,000 email subscribers” or the lovely feedback we got from a school about #HelloYellow, or something a youth panellist said about how safe Lauren made them feel in a session they were nervous about. When someone circulates a nice bit of feedback to the team, or organisation – that’s the stuff that makes me feel like this is a good place to work.”

Tom, director of communications, campaigns and participation

Internal Comms Bulletins

Our monthly internal comms e-bulletin starts with three things to celebrate from each department. It also includes people’s personal announcements and celebrations. The bulletin is stuck up in the kitchen so people can always read about what’s going on in the organisation.

One good thing, one bad thing

Every comms team meeting starts with a ‘go-round’ – everyone has to say one thing we’re proud of and want to celebrate, and one thing we’re struggling with for the month.

“I love that before we get into any of the planning, we make sure we take time to recognise each other’s achievements and give praise and recognition. It has set a healthy culture in our team of acknowledging people’s skills and talents, and ensuring they feel valued.”

Zoe, senior digital content officer

Being able to share that openly and talk about frustrations with your team feels just as important as sharing the good bits. Knowing that other people are facing challenges and setbacks helps put things into perspective. Everyone at every level sometimes struggles at work.

You can celebrate a success and still acknowledge people’s frustrations about how you got there. Sharing in the tough bits and learning from mistakes makes our celebrations feel sincere and authentic. An atmosphere where it’s ok to discuss what’s bothering us helps us feel valued as individuals.


“I’d say our All Staff Away Day felt really good for morale – it gave us a sense of being a whole organisation, figuring something out together and learning from each other. It made me excited for the organisation.” – Tom

“I like that the digital team set all our objectives together. Everyone feeds into the strategy. This sense of shared ownership makes everyone feel more invested and take more pride in meeting targets.” – Zoe 

Good news bell

Whenever our fundraising team have a success, whether it’s winning a bid, getting a whopper donation or securing a big meeting, they ring the fundraising bell to the sound of applause!

Encouraging general wellbeing

I like being encouraged to take proper lunch breaks. I have actually seen a difference in my own ability to cope with work stresses and feel part of a team even when sat eating lunch and talking about something else other than work!”

Elise, media and campaigns manager

A couple of things we’d like to try:

  • “I’d love us to have staff share their skills in weekly wellbeing sessions – like we have staff who teach yoga, or can draw incredible illustrations.”
  • I’d like more ‘lunch and learns’ where staff can show off stuff they’re working on and share their expertise with everyone.”
  • “I think we should do what Mind do, and sometimes have a compulsory second day after a bank holiday!”

We’d love to hear from you if your organisation is doing anything brilliant that you think we could try too!

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Shirin Zaid

digital communications manager, YoungMinds

Shirin Zaid is digital communications manager at YoungMinds. She left a career in commercial law to make a difference in the charity sector, taking on roles at organisations including the Early Intervention Foundation, Media Trust and Unlock Democracy. For the last four years she has been passionate about finding innovative ways to use digital to fight for children and young people’s mental health. She also enjoys working with very small charities to help them create content strategies and upskill teams to maximise their digital impact. She is a 2018 CharityComms Inspiring Communicator Award winner.