Recognition can take the form of team gatherings, get-togethers or team building that allow team members time to get to know each other simply by spending time together doing something fun or meaningful.

Team Building and Gathering Ideas

This resource provides ideas for recognizing members of your team.

Recognition can take the form of team gatherings/get-togethers/team building that allow team members time to get to know each other simply by spending time together doing something fun or meaningful. Leaders may have a difficult time personalizing any recognition if they do not know their direct reports, and recognition may come off as too generic without much thought behind it. Find ways to make this happen!

Remember when planning events that approval may be needed before they take place. Consult with your supervisor about policies and procedures that must be followed.

Previous approved off-site requests for Department of Medicine teams include:Illustration of five people standing together and smiling

Additional Ideas & Tips

On a day when all team members are on campus, plan to go out to lunch or to even just eat together to help foster an environment where everyone is getting to talk to/know one another.

Employee Appreciation Suggestion Box: managers could create a suggestion box where employees can share their ideas on how they would like to be appreciated. The manager (s) would review this box for ideas to make their employee appreciation days extra special! This also gives the employees a chance to feel heard by their manager.

Develop a Behind the Scenes Award specifically for those whose actions are not usually in the limelight.

Create a “traveling trophy” for peer recognition during team huddles/meetings to encourage recognition of teamwork or other important team values.

Plan team happy hour once every 2-3 months on a Friday afternoon to foster getting to know each other better. This can be in person at a local place, or you can even do virtual happy hours. Rotate who is responsible for organizing among members of the team.

For virtual teams, celebrate work anniversaries over a virtual coffee break or ask everyone to bring a dessert to a meeting that you can celebrate “together.” Ask the team members to share a fun story (or a funny “horror” story) about their first days on the job.

Select odd/esoteric holidays to recognize or discuss with the team. Could be made into a game … “I bet there isn’t a celebrate FILL IN THE BLANK day.”

Organize a campus fun scavenger hunt/field trip. This scavenger hunt could be organized around one area or several areas depending on how much walking the staff would like to do (special accommodation should also be considered). A scavenger hunt would allow team members to work together to learn more about the history of the campus as well as allow them to have some fun together. If possible, find an inexpensive IU inspired prize for the winner.

Create a “human bingo” card for a team gathering to help generate conversation. There are generators to do this for you: (Can be virtual or in person)