In this guide, we share some excellent concepts when it comes to funny awards to give teammates during your next celebration or all company retreat.
In Kindergarten and lower levels of learning, we often see teachers giving learners participation trophies. The idea is that everyone is appreciated for their effort.
This is done to protect little children from feeling left out and to encourage them to participate in the future. One student may be given the award for being the smartest dressed pupil, another for being the friendliest and yet another for being the best singer. The result? Happy pupils.
A similar strategy can work to motivate adults too. The role of recognition in motivating employees has been documented. According to research done on employees of a large corporation, 52% of the respondents strongly agreed that rewards and recognition increased motivation. Another 42% of the respondents agreed that non appreciated employees are isolated from appreciated employees.
This is when funny awards to give teammates come in. They will make everyone feel appreciated and increase team bonding while giving everyone something to laugh about. And according to one article, laughter in the work place is a very good thing. It improves social bonds, diffuses tension and can result in improved productivity.
Here are a few examples of funny awards to give teammates
The Time keeper
Who is always the first to clock in at the office? This person deserves the time keeper award. Since they are good at keeping time, they might also be the colleague who leaves office the earliest, has lunch at 1pm and arrives first for meetings
The neat freak award
There’s that teammate whose desk is always neat, no matter how busy they are. Their pens seem to be arranged in order from biggest to smallest and you are unlikely to find a speck of dust on their workspace. If you are in need of a wet wipe to dust something off, they are likely to have one handy. In a post covid world, they have multiple sanitisers and face masks on the ready.
The techie award
This colleague always has the coolest gadgets, whether it is a laptop, watch or phone. They know when the latest software updates are coming up and they had an Oura ring before most of you figured out how a fit bit worked.
Mr/Miss Fix it
Another funny award to give teammates is the Mr/Miss fix it award. There is always that teammate who is skilled at fixing things and they enjoy it too! If the printer is jammed, they know what to do, your chair is wobbly, they know exactly what to jiggle to make it work. Recognise their gift with this funny award.
The Fashionista award
Rain or shine, this colleague always seems effortlessly put together. They are smart, they know the latest trends and they rarely have a bad style day.
The Not early bird award
When giving funny awards to teammates, it is okay to give tongue in cheek ones such as this. The opposite of the early bird can be the not early bird. This person is often a little late to meetings or to the office. Present such awards with a little humour to ensure the recipient doesn’t take it too personally.
Most disorganised desk
They insist that they know where everything is in the mess of their desk. If you have a cleaning crew that comes in after hours to tidy up, they have been warned not to bother to organise this person’s desk. This teammate deserves the most disorganised desk award.
The snack queen or king
They are most likely to bring cookies or a fruit salad to the office. And they always bring more than enough for themselves. This person also knows where the best meal offers are on any given day of the week. If they don’t have a snack on them, at least they will be able to guide you to where you can find one.
The games master
Whenever there is a team gathering, you can rely on this person to have games for the team to enjoy. They will either come with a pack of cards, boxed games or download a game app. They are the one most likely to make a game out of a challenging task.
The Bermuda Triangle Award
Where did your highlighter go? Best to ask the recipient of this funny award. Just like the geographical location, office supplies that go to the Bermuda triangle tend to get lost. Chances are that this award will go to winner of the most disorganised desk award so merging the two is a good idea.
The office nomad
Today they are working at their desk, tomorrow in the other corner, the next day in the board room and on another day, in the compound. This funny award to give teammates goes to that employee who seeks for inspiration away from their own work station.
The best singer award
This team member is the one most likely to be heard carrying a tune, whether they are walking down the corridor, making a cup of tea or even with their head phones, oblivious to whoever might be listening.
The people whisperer
Funny awards to give teammates can be just for fun, but you can also use them to shout out people who are exhibiting skills required for the job. The people whisperer is good at conflict resolution, has good negotiation and communication skills and you can add that when giving the award.
The notes taker award
Did you zone out in a meeting and miss something? This teammate can always come to your rescue. This is probably why they are such an asset in client meetings, they pay extra attention to detail.
The meeting master
It’s not what you think. This person has mastered how to make meetings short and meaningful. They are also able to send an email and get rid of the need to have a meeting at all. They deserve the meeting master award.
Tips on creating funny awards that your teams and teammates will appreciate
Simply creating funny awards is only half the journey. There are ways that you can make them more inclusive and ensure you hit your goal of making people feel appreciated, whether you are selecting funny awards to give teammates once a year or you are creating them as a part of a formal recognition and rewards program.
In a formal program, the awards might come with an actual prize. But funny awards can still be effective as a recognition tool without that.
Think about the timing
Recognising employees be done periodically, that is; quarterly or yearly. Structuring them this way gives employees enough time to make an impact. However there is a case to be made for rewarding people immediately. It increases motivation.
Get as much input as you can
What one might consider a funny award to give teammates, another might view in a negative light. Get feedback and input from the team so that awards can be fun and not embarrassing.
Keep it fun
If the awards are between teammates, then the team leader can decide to have the awards ‘ceremony’ after work at a café. If more people in the office are involved then the in charge can end work early and dedicate the last 30 minutes to giving out the funny awards.
Funny awards to give teammates may seem like child’s play but they can reap big benefits. Motivation, productivity and team work can all increase as a result. But like the participation trophies given out at school, make sure everyone gets one.