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Give Your Teams Some Incentives to Spark Productivity

written by: Mike Sweeney•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/21/2011

Do you have a reward program in place for project teams? If not, here are some great ideas to get you started. They're simple, effective, and can be a lot of fun to put together. Here find not one but 30, yes 30 ideas all will appreciate!

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    30 Great Ideas that Work!

    Team Meeting Here are 30 simple ideas for rewarding teams and team members. We know what gets recognized by an organization, often gets repeated. These are practical ideas that can be easily modified to fit most any organization or team situation. Use these ideas as a guideline to either supplement your existing reward and recognition ideas for work teams, or to create something brand new and exciting.

    1. Organization Merchandise – Most organizations have some type of merchandise with the company logo including clothing, office supplies and luggage and teams will be proud to own or wear them.

    2. Gift Certificates – This covers everything from American Express gift cards to mall gift cards that team members can use at any participating store. You could also use airline, hotel, grocery store, auto repair, or a wide range of national retail stores such as Macy’s and Nordstrom’s.

    3. Days Off – No strings attached. Each team member receives a free day to use at their leisure which does not count against any personal days or vacation time.

    4. Long Weekend – Give the team an extra Friday or Monday off, or attach a day off to a longer holiday weekend.

    5. Flex Time – Offer an opportunity to try flex time on new projects. If it goes well, extend it on a more permanent basis.

    6. Thank-You Cards – Personalized thank-you notes can be very powerful and easy to do. Have them sent from unexpected sources including senior management, vendors and customers.

    7. Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner – Take the team to a local eatery or have something catered at the office. You could also supplement the occasion and allow team members to bring in some of their favorite dishes.

    8. Theater / Concert / Museum Tickets – This covers a broad range of music, theater or touring museum exhibits.

    9. Movie Night – Choose a local movie theater to attend or have a movie shown at the office. You could attach dinner or drinks at a local establishment to make it a dinner/movie night.

    10. Local Tourist Attraction – Arrange tickets to any local attraction including amusement parks, aquariums, or well-known state and national parks.

    11. Gift Baskets / Flowers / Fruit – There is a wide array of gifts that can be sent to the team and team members at the office or their home addresses.

    12. Specialty Desserts / Food / Wine – Similar to gift baskets, arrange for unique food, wine, desserts, or chocolate to be sent as a one-time or ongoing event.

    13. Giftware – There are literally hundreds of giftware ideas that can be sent to the team. Attempt to link the gift to the team achievement.

    14. Engraved Items – Desk clocks, paper weights, and pens are some of the most common engraved items out there and are well received.

    15. Plaques – These are pretty standard and inexpensive gifts, but are well appreciated by the recipients.

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    But Wait! There's More!

    Audience Clapping 16. Team Photographs – Have a team photograph professionally taken and present to each team member.

    17. Posters – Select a poster that will be appealing to frame and give to each team member. There are many that incorporate memorable quotes and beautiful pictures.

    18. Team Outing – Create an indoor/outdoor adventure such as paintball, laser tag, rafting, hiking or a scenic tour led by an expert.

    19. Guest Speaker – Find a local celebrity, or “expert" in something appealing to all team members and invite them to speak at the office or link it to another activity.

    20. Charitable Events – Attend a walkathon together with all fees paid and donate additional funds on the team’s behalf.

    21. Themed Events – You could create a specialized event that recognizes the team’s achievements.

    22. Milestone Celebrations – Team anniversaries or project achievements could be noted and celebrated similar to an office birthday celebration.

    23. Team Meeting with Senior Execs – Fun one-hour event with senior management. Maybe over some type of refreshments and an informal question and answer session.

    24. Bonus Training / Learning Opportunities – Offer paid learning opportunities such as a one-day seminar or workshop on company time.

    25. Newsletter / Newspaper / Blog / Website / News Release Recognition –Insert accolades about the team in the company newsletter, blog, or website. If you have industry publications you can send information to, do that as well. Maybe create a lighthearted PR news release and send it to all the company employees, vendors and customers.

    26. Subscriptions / Memberships – Offer to pay for a one-year membership at a local gym, yoga, or dance studio.

    27. Wall of Fame for Teams – Create a special location in the company where team pictures and plaques could adorn a “wall of fame." You can also have a large cabinet that holds any other specialized items that are awarded such as glass bowls and engraved items like trophies.

    28. Parking Spaces / Hotel / Airline / Rental Car Upgrades – If you have parking spaces that are valuable, then offer prime locations. If the team travels periodically, upgrade their hotel accommodations, airline seats and rental cars.

    29. Telecommute Opportunities – Allow team members to telecommute on the next project, either on a part-time or full-time basis.

    30. Monopoly Money – Develop fake “monopoly" type money based on team achievements and allow team members to redeem it for some of the items previously listed – gift cards, gift certificates, company merchandise, etc.

    Use any or a combination of these reward and recognition ideas for work teams, not only will it bring happier employees, you'll gain by realizing more productive teams!

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