I did two things on my team… first, I bought some “You Make a Difference” coins and put them on the team in a bowl. These were available for anyone to give to another team member who they felt had made a difference to them, either by helping, training, or even just listening — did not have to be directly related to work, as we all know how sometimes life interferes at work and having someone listen or help there can redirect your focus on work. Don’t get me wrong, the coins were for co-workers, not for folks at home, but if you have a good friend at work that you can unload, even a little on, it can help. Then I bought some small office items, recognition awards, and such and put them in a shopping center. I set goals for the team, in alignment with the stations goals, and based upon how they did towards those goals, they got certain number of points and at the end of the month, they got to go shopping in the store. This was a hit, because there was a wide range of items, to appeal to everyone (coffe cups, water bottles, back packs, mouse pads, pens, paper weights, etc) and none of it was marked with the office/station logo. I went with the theme, You Make A Difference, because every case we touch makes a difference to someone and they were not feeling appreciated by upper management. During this time, there was a lot of stress, a lot of pressure to over-perform, with no thanks for those who did. This was my way to keep my team focused, striving to do their best, and to feel appreciated.
In addition, we had “Star” cards, which were given to the two stars each month. This I did based upon recommendations from peers and personal observations. The Star card allows the holder to take 1 hour off, admin leave, at a future date of their choosing. These were given out at the team meetings, with the reason for the award read off.