Guest post by Adrienne Erin
When your employees work hard for you, it’s natural to want to reward them in simple and meaningful ways. Despite common belief, rewards can come in various forms outside of a simple raise or promotion. Further, while it may seem impossible to compensate employees without spending copious amounts of money, frequent recognition is ranked as one of the highest valued assets at any company. In order to provide this on a budget, handing out humorous awards is a great option.
Make Them Laugh
Funny awards are a simple, yet effective way to make employees laugh and feel appreciated. It also gives you, as the employer, a chance to recognize people or characteristics that may typically get overlooked. Even if you have employees who come up with good ideas that end up failing, you want to encourage them to keep brainstorming and working. Giving out awards for little things apart from directly driving profit will certainly boost overall morale.
Even when keeping things light and humorous, it’s best to emphasize the positive or neutral things rather than glorifying something negative. For example, you would want to avoid awarding someone for being a procrastinator and always missing deadlines. A neutral example might be awarding the person who drinks the most coffee—not necessarily a negative or positive, but enough to make someone chuckle. When thinking of awards that fit the people in your office, keep some of these ideas in mind:
Examples of fun, positive awards:
- Duct Tape Award – for your office “fix-it” person who can (and does) fix just about anything
- Cliff Jumper Award – for the employee willing to take the biggest risks
- First Responder Award – for the individual in your office who is always ready to help when needed
- Little Miss Sunshine – for whoever is a ray of light in your workplace, always being positive (this can be a man too!)
- Pearly White Award – for the worker who is always smiling
- Trash Can Award – given to the employee who will eat anything, literally anything
- One More Thing Award – for whoever is most likely to extend meetings
Staying Positive and Energetic
Work is a huge part of every employee’s life, and sometimes the work can be stressful, painful and overwhelming. It is extremely important for you, as their employer, to reward your workers and keep things light. For example, the staff at 12 Keys, a holistic recovery center for addiction, regularly recognize their employees for going above and beyond for their clients. Dealing with emotional issues daily, these employees deserve and appreciate the recognition (and a good laugh).
Funny awards are a simple and effective way to enhance morale in the workplace; you can even hold a mini “awards session” that allows employees a 15 minute break. Along with these humorous awards, a few other ways to encourage employees may be: implementing flexible hours, sending a hand-written note, holding monthly birthday celebrations, or creating a Wall of Fame. Little, inexpensive perks and recognition will go a long way toward employee satisfaction and overall productivity. Sometimes, even a simple “way to go” is all you need!
Adrienne Erin is a writer and designer. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter to see more of her work.