Problem/Solution—Celebrate the Proposal Team, Win or Lose


Problem: Team morale is low after losing and the quality of our proposals is declining. 

Losing a bid is hard. It’s easy to get swept up in disappointment, to see the flaws in your proposal, and to blame others for mistakes. This breaks down the morale of the team and quality can absolutely suffer. Mistakes need to be addressed in a lessons learned review, but don’t dwell on them. There’s usually more to losing than what’s in the proposal 

Solution: Celebrate the proposal effort with the team, win or lose. 

Your team has put in hours of work and plenty of stress to meet the proposal deadline. Some may have worked weekends or holidays, taken time away from family, and adjusted other responsibilities. Recognize their efforts, accomplishments, and the value they provide to your organization. Have that celebration whether your team wins the opportunity or not. The effort is the same. In fact, have a celebration at submittal! Don’t wait to find out whether you win or lose. If you win, you can always celebrate again. 

When it comes to boosting the morale of the proposal team, it’s important to recognize the hard work of each individual. If a team member knows their work is valued, they will work just as hard on the next opportunity, if not harder. Recognition of any kind helps build confidence, trust, and a sense of loyalty to the organization. 

Schedule the victory party well in advance. Put it right in the proposal schedule. Make this celebration just as important as every other team meeting. 

A victory celebration doesn’t have to be expensive, glamorous, or divvy out pricy rewards. This party only needs to celebrate the team’s accomplishments. 

Everyone loves a celebration. So, stop dwelling on those disappointments and mistakes and hold that victory party! Focus on what went right and what was learned from the effort.