Keeping the morale and energy-level of employees up proves a simple task if you incorporate a little humor into your acknowledgement of their efforts. While a pat on the back or a statement of praise does mean something, you can keep your employees on the edge of their seats and wanting more if you make recognition fun. From surprising an employee at her desk to showing off your own talents, find ways to acknowledge your team and make them laugh at the same time.
Covering an employee's desk or work area with balloons the night before makes for a fun next-day surprise for a job well done. Write funny messages on the balloons with a marker such as "High Five" and "You Rock!" Leave a note nearby that explains your actions. Or, leave invitations to a "thank-you" breakfast hosted by a "mystery guest" on each of your employee's desks. Outfit yourself in a chef's hat and apron and set up a griddle in the break room. Add a fake mustache and speak in a different voice to add some humor to the occasion. Play funky music in the background to set a lighthearted mood. Make breakfast for everyone. If you're not into cooking, pick something up on the way to work and serve it in your chef's outfit.
Gifting humorous items that acknowledge an employee's contributions brings fun to the situation. For instance, if an employee spent many late nights working on a project, put together a small basket with packages of coffee, a coffee mug, an energy drink and a pair of dark glasses with a message that says, "Thanks for being a night owl to make our days better." Or if the employee is always early to work and meetings, give him a jar of gummy worms with a sticky note attached that states, "The early bird always catches the worm! Thanks for always being here ahead of time."
Give your creative skills a whirl and pen a funny poem to your employees to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Simple, rhyming two to four line stanzas will do, such as "Other employees may come and go/Yet I will never find a group that glows." Or give each employee a funny name to showcase his most favorable trait. For example, for an associate named Dave, who is a customer favorite, call him "Dave the Fave." Ensure that the names you give employees function as humorous terms of endearment and not insults.
Use food to make a funny. Order a huge hero sandwich for an employee team that excelled on a project. A banner displayed near the serving table that states, " A hero for my heroes!" will add an appropriate touch. Or gather individually wrapped lifesavers and punch a small hole through the middle of the wrapper. String the wrapped candies onto a colorful piece of yarn or string to make a necklace or bracelet. Stick the candy creation in a clear bag with a note that says, "You're my lifesaver!" Employees can hang the candy in their work area as a reminder or munch on it.