Drawing of balloons and confettiDescription: The team, or individual members, do not feel their contributions are appreciated by management or other members.

Note: These ideas are addressed to the team manager, but the team can do many of them on its own.

  • Lavish verbal praise on every positive act. Err on the side of embarrassing team members with public praise.
  • Also praise in private, and be sincere about it. Praise tied to specific actions is more effective than, “You are doing a great job.”
  • Establish a physical “Victory Wall” for team accomplishments, announcements, kudos, etc. One company in the pre-smartphone days issued Polaroid cameras to its managers, who would take pictures of people “doing something right” and post them on bulletin boards. (This could include personal accomplishments, too.)
  • Provide items such as tee-shirts or mugs with team identifiers.
  • Place a sign at the team’s work site identifying the team by the name it uses for itself (formal or nickname).
  • Hold parties or picnics to celebrate anniversaries or accomplishments.
  • Paint equipment in colors the team chooses.
  • Sponsor the team’s entry into athletic competitions.
  • Ask the team to make a presentation on its achievements, or to do a presentation you normally would do yourself (to upper management about the division, to customers, etc.).
  • Send the team, or its chosen representatives, to a professional conference—and encourage the members to give a presentation on something they learned when they return.
  • Ask your boss to speak to the team, either on a subject of interest to the team or just to say a quick word of praise.
  • Buy a bunch of cheap, fun prizes—toys, odd pens, snack food, etc. Distribute them for good ideas, people changing a behavior (e.g., someone who normally does not say much speaks up), accomplishing a tough task, and any other excuse you can find.
  • Invite the team to your place for a cookout.
  • For an advisory team, let the team implement ideas it comes up with.
  • Allocate money to the team to spend on process improvements, to please a good customer, etc.
  • Provide information on team successes to internal and/or external publications (company newsletter, town newspaper, etc.).
  • Upgrade the team’s equipment or office
  • Provide perks such as free dinners or sports tickets.
  • Have fun—send the team a candy-gram or bring in a clown.
  • Arrange to return a portion of measurable financial improvements to the team through bonuses (see “Compensation Schemes” for details).


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