Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

Celebration, Recognition at Work Drives Results

At the end of the credits for the Pixar movie Monster Inc. (where, incidentally, the monsters discover the joy of laughter), 49 names appear below the heading Production Babies. These are the 49 babies that were born to Pixar employees during the making of Monsters Inc., and it’s Pixar’s way of celebrating the new additions to their family.

As I remind you on a regular basis, we all need to be doing a better job at recognizing the people around us and celebrating success. Something in the neighborhood of a gazillion studies have confirmed that everyone wants more recognition at work, everyone appreciates being appreciated, and those companies that do a better job at recognizing employees and celebrating realize higher profits, higher employee retention rates, and improved customer service scores. You need to celebrate the obvious stuff, but here’s a few ideas for some offbeat reasons to celebrate and recognize people:

  • Celebrate the founding date of your company.Beryl trophy
  • Celebrate the anniversary of when employees started working with you.
  • Throw a new year’s eve party for your fiscal new year.
  • Celebrate everyone’s work-related OR personal new year’s resolutions.
  • Create a highlights video, scrap book, or yearbook of the top achievements for the previous year or create a top-10 highlights ceremony to remind everyone of how much has been accomplished.
  • Hershey Foods has a special award, “The Exalted Order of the Extended Neck,” to reward people who buck the system. Similarly, Biogen Idec Canada has an employee-nominated “Take the Bull by the Horns” award, which is given out at each of their town hall meetings to an employee who embodies the company culture by challenging the status quo.
  • An annual World Pizza Games competition includes events such as the pizza triathlon, fastest box folding, fastest dough, largest dough and individual acrobatic dough making. Hey, if pizza making can be turned into a competitive event, then anything in your workplace can be turned into a fun competitive event. (And I mean, anything: there’s a phenomenon known as “Extreme Accounting” where accountants take their work to extreme locations: mountaintops, sea beds, roller coaster rides or skydiving.)
  • There’s a Pizza Hall of Fame, so why not a __________ Hall of Fame?
  • How about a “Most Likely to OD on Caffeine” award? Or “Quirkiest Sense of Humor,” “Least Likely to Be Voted Off the Island,” “Best Excuse of the Year,” “Hero of the Month,” or “Wow Does This Person Ever Need Something to Boost Their Spirits” awards?

Michael Kerr is a Canadian Hall of Fame business speaker who travels the world researching, writing and speaking about workplaces that rock!  His latest book is called “The Humor Advantage: Why Some Business are Laughing all the Way to the Bank!”  For great ideas like these, sign up for his raved about weekly e-zine, Humor at Work.




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