Pizza lunches are great, but they can get old fast. When your team continues to perform exceptionally well, you need to keep recognizing them for their effort and achievement — but you might need some help coming up with ways to celebrate that keep excitement and engagement high. To that end, here are a few ideas to get your creative leadership juices flowing:
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The Opposite of a Roast
A Roast is a way of honoring someone — by telling humorous stories and jokes pointing out their weaknesses and flaws. If the honoree has an appropriate attitude and speeches are made in good faith, the event can feel fun and make the honoree feel seen and appreciated by their peers. However, Roasts can make honorees feel insecure, misunderstood and attacked, and there is no way of telling if or when a Roast will become mean-spirited and ineffective.
Thus, instead of risking sour feelings, you might recognize the success of your team by hosting the opposite of a Roast. During your event, you should invite colleagues and peers on stage to provide compliments and praise to your honoree(s), ideally through funny anecdotes that help everyone relax and feel at ease. As a bonus, your opposite-of-a-Roast could lay the groundwork for a culture of peer-to-peer recognition, which will improve engagement and strengthen relationships across your organization.
Social Media Takeover
Your company’s social media profiles should be carefully curated to present the best face of your brand to your consumer audience. If your company has exceptionally effective social media, your pages could have tens or hundreds of thousands of followers eager for content from your brand. The opportunity to speak to and influence all those followers is a significant responsibility — but it can be a meaningful and powerful reward for employees who continue to go above and beyond to improve your business.
Sometimes, all your team needs are a few hours to turn their brains off. A movie day, scheduled in the middle or at the end of a big project, can be an effective break for your hardworking employees. You can give them the chance to vote on the film you watch together, and you can supply popcorn, candy, soda and other treats associated with enjoying cinema. As long as you have a screen large enough for your entire team to see and some comfortable seats, your movie day should be a box-office hit.
A Rotating Trophy
Many employees are motivated by physical tokens of appreciation, which is why certificates, medals and trophies are such common rewards for extraordinary actions. While you could host an awards ceremony and distribute trophies to every team member, you might find more success at a lower cost by investing in one trophy for your team members to share. You might ascribe some specific meaning to the trophy — like “most helpful” or “best attitude” — and reassign the trophy on a regular basis, making sure that every worker gets the chance to display it on their desk. Even better, you can have your team vote on who should receive the trophy, so it feels like peer-to-peer recognition and support.
Special Parking Privileges
Almost every workplace is plagued by a terrible parking system. Thus, a simple and effective reward for a team or worker who demonstrates laudable commitment to your company is a prestigious parking space. The space should be reserved for the employee of honor, and it should be located as close as possible to your office, separated somewhat significantly from the other employee parking spaces. The reward might be temporary, like the trophy, and offered to a new worker periodically to improve morale.
One of the most unconventional ideas but also one of the most memorable, a puppy playdate involves bringing a pack of puppies into the office. Tens of thousands of years of coevolution have forged a strong connection between canines and humans, with the effect that time spent around dogs — especially little, fluffy, friendly puppies — can radically reduce a person’s stress levels. Before you schedule a puppy playdate, you should make sure that none of your team members have pertinent allergies or fears. If there is a conflict, you might pivot toward a kitten playdate or some other animal encounter.
Employee recognition is no longer a “want” but a “need” in every workplace. Top talent expects their business leaders to see and appreciate them — authentically and often — so you need to get in the habit of providing your employees with the recognition they deserve. Using a powerful employee recognition platform and a few smart leadership practices, you should be able to keep all your employees engaged and productive.