Recognition* At my school during faculty meetings, we recognize people with "a Coke and a smile." While describing something nice, we hand them a coke with a smiley face taped on the bottle or can.
* Make sure to include it in the yearly evaluation.
* We put a sign on the staff door with their photo and some fun graphics.
* Just say Thank You.
* Write a warm fuzzies [or, if you don't have such a website, somewhere visible to the public].
* Don't forget to tell your supervisor when she/he does something you appreciate, too!
Voting Awards* We have a Kudos contest and give out awards like this every month. Staff members nominate other staff members, with a brief note about their exceptional effort/kindness/professionalism/general awesomeness. Each month, there is a drawing. Both the nominator and the nominee for the instance drawn receive a $5.00 gift card (usually for a bookstore or coffee shop.) All of the nominations are shared in a systemwide email, so everybody gets a few minutes of fame.
* We have a recognition program where the thankful party fills out a little two part card. One part has To: / From: / Thank you for: lines. The other part has To: & From: only. The second part gets dropped in a mason jar on the admin desk. A card is drawn at each staff meeting for a gift basket prize. (That way everyone gets thanked, but you don't have to spend a lot of money.)
* We give "You Make a Difference" awards- any staff member can give them to any other staff member for anything they did that was especially kind, helpful, or "above & beyond the call of duty." ...[T]here is a tear-off section at the bottom. When you collect 5, you can hand in the bottoms to your supervisor for 1/2 hour off with pay.
* At my library, we have a Kudos Board. Co-workers can recognize and thank someone who went above and beyond. At our in-service twice a year, they are read out loud for everyone and then the staff member gets to keep theirs.
* A plastic crown/tiara coupled with a chocolate bar was enough to get my staff motivated enough to move us up ten spots in the circulation rankings. We turned one bookcase into a staff picks shelf. Everyone had half a shelf and at the end of the day one of the pages would record how many books of each staff member had been checked out that day. At the end of the month the top book selector got a chocolate bar and plastic crown or tiara. It made it so that EVERYBODY at the branch was hand selling books and circulation shot up. I think it cost me a grand total of $5 a month to run.
Time* Give them 5-10 extra minutes on break.
* Let them go home an hour early.
* Give them a longer lunch hour.
* Give them an hour or two uninterrupted to work on something they enjoy doing or a special project.
Small and Big Gifts* $5.00 gift cards to Dunkin Donuts and leave them in their mailboxes.
* Redbox coupon + bag of popcorn. Hip2Save has some good coupons.
* Mug + bag of coffee or tea; Hot cocoa in a jar.
* Cupcakes and/or boxes of chocolates to thank staff for exceptional work.
* Coupons worth $3 in books from the book sale.
* Free lunch for everyone.
* I've also given gift certificates, for local and in-house purchases, teas, etc. People seem to like gift bags of anything especially if they are geared towards their interests.
Free Ideas* Jeans day.
* Employee of the Week parking space close to the entrance.
* Formal letter in their file.
* I have made certificates for the best poster or most creative exhibit.
* Coupons for a free soda or snack from the vending machine.
* Handwritten notes of appreciation.
Crafty Ideas* If you are crafty, you could make them something out of their favorite book(s)--bookmarks, jewelry, keychains, etc. I taught myself how to make bracelets out of recycled used books from DIY bead rolling videos on Youtube. Very easy to learn!
* A couple years ago I made a "you rock" rock.....big rock with those words in it. I gave it out the first year and then that person gave it to someone else the next year. Then I felt bad that only one person got the rock so I gave out little rocks to everyone with the letter "u" on it. Which is funny because several people asked "what's an "n" rock?"
* Thank you note wrapped around a candy bar. [A Girl and a Glue Gun has good printables.]
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