Category: employee recognition games

Creative Ways to Engage Your Multi-Generational Workforce

By John Schaefer, September 16, 2013 2:40 pm

Remember when recognition used to be easy and straightforward? Baby boomers were content with traditional, logged awards and annual congratulatory events. Generation X brought in an interest in flex time and unique benefits such as work from home, office-based exercise options, and childcare benefits. Now we have a growing team of Generation Y workers intrigued with new technology, adventure travel, work/life balance and unique group recognition opportunities.  It’s getting a bit challenging, isn’t it?

I recently came across a couple of recognition ideas that I think will make a lot of sense with your younger employees. The trick is figuring out creative ways to tie these kinds of rewards in with your current recognition strategies and budgets.

There are three ways that we communicate with employees:

  1. Recognition awards engage the Right Brain (the emotional side) and tells them you Love and Care about them as people.
  2. Performance Management rewards engage the Left Brain (the logical side) and show them how improving certain behaviors will allow them to personally share in the company’s success.
  3. Acknowledgement can appeal to either side of the brain; sometimes both, and shows specific achievers how much you appreciate their unique accomplishments.  This is probably where these ideas would fit best within a total recognition strategy.

The Surf Office –

Michal Kostal, cofounder of the surf office is a lifetime surfing enthusiast. Fed up with his desk job, and looking for ways to combine work with his surfing passion, Michal and his partner founded The Surf Office on the coast of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.  “Our project is an uncommon “coworcation” place”, says Kostal.  It’s a simple idea, really. Employees who able to work remotely can combine business and leisure time in a unique environment. The property provides private and shared space, a bed, a desk and high-speed Wi-Fi. For the right type of employee, this sure sounds like the ultimate performance award, doesn’t it? Check it out at

Go Moment –

This one is a bit more customize, but intriguing.  Go Moment will create incredible one-of-a-kind experiences to motivate and engage your employees; each with a personal touch.

LA rep Emilee Wilson shared it with me this way… “Personally, when people ask me what I do, I tell them ‘I sell success’ and it’s true!” They offer unique, unforgettable experiences that are not usually offered to the public, such as skydiving in active volcanoes, luxury yacht cruise experiences in Newport Beach and San Francisco, and extreme storm chasing!  These ideas are sure to intrigue you highest achieving Gen Y folks! Learn more at

I see these two reward ideas as somewhat “the frosting” on you Total Recognition cake. You still have to get your management team educated on how to build trust with their people, show them you genuinely care about them as human beings, and offer them ways to share in the glory. Then, you can dangle crazy stuff like The Surf Office and Go Motion opportunities for those top folks that really rock and roll!

It’s all part of a balance approach to employee optimization we call an Umbrella Recognition Solution.  To find out how your organization can get the most out of your investments in people, visit us at .

Basketball Inspirational Annimation Video

By John Schaefer, May 25, 2010 3:10 pm

By John Schaefer – America’s Employee Recognition Expert
I saw this fun and inspiring video today and thought I’d share it with you all. Really makes you think about the messages that words put in our heads and how a few minor changes can make all the difference.

Employee Recognition Games

By John Schaefer, March 18, 2010 12:16 am

An important part of introducing a successful employee engagement and retention strategy is to include fun and enjoyable activities.  People who are having fun will typically be more motivated and engaged, thus increasing productivity.  Employee recognition games are a great way to fuel a fun environment.  However, the office environment must be a relatively light-hearted place to start with, where employees are free to express themselves and nobody takes themselves too seriously.  If these conditions exist, then the introduction of employee recognition games may encourage employees to motivate each other and provide some healthy competition within the office environment.

Employee recognition games can be an affordable option in getting a boost of enthusiasm from the workforce.  If the game is easy enough to follow, doesn’t get in the way of normal job duties and provides participants with a few laughs, then the company is likely to see results.  Even if these results don’t go any further than building a more cohesive team, it will still benefit the business in the long run to have employees who know one another and know how to work well together.

A great example of one of these games is “The Vocational Shrink, The Game”.  This is an excellent tool for employees to participate in an exaggerated, light-hearted method of acknowledging each other’s positive or negative habit patterns at work.  In order for the game to work, everyone must be able to step back and take a look at some of their habits in a fun, joking way.  Ideally, the game should provide a way for employees to express their possible frustrations through the game as opposed to taking it out on themselves or other employees.  If used correctly and in the right light this game is likely to encourage people to avoid bad habits.

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