Party On: A Case for Celebrating Life's Biggest Moments at Work

April 19, 2018 Sarah Mulcahy


Someone once told me that in life everything seems to stay the same forever, until one day everything is completely different.

I know a little bit about this. Last fall I experienced three major (but happy!) life events. I got engaged, bought a house, and had a baby. I remember the day after I got engaged, we toured the house we would eventually buy. Two days after we signed the papers on our house, I had my baby shower. And a little more than a month after that we welcomed our sweet Mabel Marie (pictured above). Now it’s hard to imagine my life without her. And getting a full night’s sleep? I totally forget what that feels like! In the span of just a couple of months, my life, my priorities, my perspective had all been turned upside down.

I’m not unique, of course. Your employees are learning, growing, and evolving every day. These life events are all part of our shared human experience. So if we want to create more human work cultures for our people, it only makes sense that we would share in these happy moments with our teams, the people we often spend more time with than even our own families.

Earlier this year, Globoforce published a report with SHRM that delves into this idea of humanizing the employee experience. We surveyed more than 700 HR professionals to see what the latest trends are when it comes to catering to the whole human at work. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • 3 out of 5 organizations (60%) are actively involved in helping employees celebrate life events
  • Employees are nearly 2x as likely to agree their company is a good place to work when they are very/somewhat satisfied with how life events are celebrated
  • When employees are very/somewhat satisfied with the celebrations of life events, the organization is 95% more likely to have won awards for its culture

I remember how grateful I felt to work on a team that acknowledged and celebrated these huge moments in my personal life – even though they happened almost simultaneously! And based on the data we found, that gratitude and appreciation often translates into goodwill that employees give back in the form of discretionary effort and/or recommending their company to friends.

These celebrations also strengthen social connections at work, which WorkHuman speaker Shawn Achor tells us is the greatest predictor of long-term happiness. In fact, the 2017 WorkHuman Research Institute report showed that as the number of life events an employee celebrates increases, so too does their sense of belonging with their team and their company.

We should also acknowledge that every team in your organization is different. Some may be more attentive than others when it comes to life event celebrations. If you want to ensure every employee – not matter where he or she sits in the organization – has a positive experience, I encourage you to check out Globoforce Life Events, a WorkHuman Cloud® application that packs an emotional punch and invites more voices into the celebration.

This is the final post in a series on findings from the 2018 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Report. Did you miss any of the previous four? Check them out below:

Half of Surveyed HR Professionals Say their Performance Appraisals are Inaccurate

Report: Employees Say ‘No Thanks’ to ‘e-Thanks’ Programs

Report: Values-Based Recognition Programs are Highest-Rated, Most Effective

Report: Employee Recognition Helps Resolve Retention and Recruitment Challenges

About the Author

Sarah Mulcahy

Sarah is senior content marketing manager at Workhuman. When not writing and reading about all things culture, leadership, recognition, and appreciation, she enjoys iced coffee, running, and spending time with her daughters, Mabel and Eva.

Follow on Twitter More Content by Sarah Mulcahy
Previous Article
The Official Workhuman Reading List
The Official Workhuman Reading List

This list of 47 books covers all the latest research in positive psychology, building a human workplace, be...

Next Article
There's No Going Back: WorkHuman and #MeToo
There's No Going Back: WorkHuman and #MeToo

What is HR's role in ending workplace harassment? Laurie Ruettimann shares her top takeaways following the ...


New Workhuman content delivered direct to your inbox.

Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!