• Water wars. Consider this way to help a group adhere to ground rules it has previously agreed to: Give group members toy squirt guns and authorize everyone to use them on someone who isn't abiding by a rule. (This works best outdoors, of course.)
  • Make it more meaningful. Incorporate a sense of fun into your corporate award presentations to keep them from being cookie-cutter experiences and to make the awards more memorable for recipients at no additional expense. For example, have a chorus sing a letter of praise, have a treasure hunt or a drawing, crown someone with paper clips, or create a bulletin board devoted to each reward recipient and ask for written contributions from the entire staff.
  • Start out right. At Business First in Louisville, Ky., the advertising department sends a broadcast voice mail daily with a motivational message -- a joke, a success story, or whatever helps employees enjoy what they do for a living.
  • A soapy celebration. Hire high school students to wash employees' cars in the parking lot.
  • Keep meetings on track. Microage Computer in Tempe, Ariz., charges latecomers to meetings $1 each and distributes the money to those who were on time. Other companies use a coin bank and charge meeting attendees a quarter for interruptions, tangential comments, and so forth, using the money later for team celebrations.

Copyright 1999 Bob Nelson, used with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Bob Nelson's Rewarding Employees newsletter.