SuddenTeams™ Program>

Description: 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 “Victory Wall” for team accomplishments, announcements, kudos, etc. One company 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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