Have you started on your plans to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS? Don't leave it to the great and good to celebrate - you are the great and the good.

Having something to celebrate is key to building a collaboration of success. Time and time again people in the NHS tell me that they don't feel valued at work. They are talented and committed but don't feel their contribution is respected and appreciated.

There has been fantastic achievement in the past 60 years and over the last 12 months many ambitious targets have been met. How many of you took time out to celebrate and reflect on these achievements? Did you take time to say thanks and be thanked? Or did you rush headlong into the next set of targets and deadlines?

I don't think celebration fits very neatly into the NHS culture. The nearest thing I have seen is at annual awards ceremonies such as the HSJ Awards. Often, however, the organisations that participate in these events are the more successful ones - those that already understand the value of recognising a job well done. It would be nice to see a much wider engagement in these events.

But the good news is that you don't have to wait. Why not plan now to ensure that the 60th anniversary of the NHS gives a real opportunity to stop, think, and concentrate on all that has been achieved, to thank those who have helped make it happen and look forward to achievements to come.

If you are in a system where celebrating achievements is not the norm then you may have to introduce the concept gently. Too much praise where there has been a desert may get some odd responses such as: "Are you being sarcastic?" or "What work do they want to pile on to me now?"

It also has to be pitched at the right level so that it doesn't end up as false praise or false modesty. Colleagues have got to believe you mean it. It might be easier to ask colleagues to tell you about something they have achieved. They probably don't get enough practice at this. Most of us spend a lot more time going through things that we have not performed on or things that have gone badly.

When I ran the South West region public health programme some trainees dreaded their annual assessment. After working hard all year they would arrive at the panel and find that most of the discussion was on areas that needed to be achieved or where performance was poor. This type of appraisal clearly needs to be done but we were missing out on the balance between what needed to be achieved and what was being achieved. We decided to change the system so that the trainees started the interview by telling us about at least one achievement. This helped improve motivation and performance.

This is about how celebration could help motivation and performance for you and your teams. Remember, 60 is the diamond anniversary - so it's worth planning something special.

The closing date for this year's HSJ Awards is 27 June, details www.hsjawards.co.uk