Project Team Rewards and Recognition Guideline

Quick Summary
Project work is serious, but it shouldn't be drudgery. Remember to include team rewards, recognition, celebration, and general hoopla in your project planning. This guideline provides ideas, suggestions, and a detailed example from one team's reward-planning activities.

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What this is

Guidelines for planning project teambuilding and celebration events, and setting up reward and recognition mechanisms. It includes:

  • Suggested characteristics of sound and thorough rewards and recognition programs
  • Ideas for key types of rewards and recognition to consider
  • A detailed example of how one team used a brainstorming meeting to identify what was needed and develop recommendations for Management.

Why it's useful

Project managers and teams are naturally pre-occupied with planning the project work and deliverables during the planning phase. Including team recognition and celebration planning as a formal part of the early planning process ensures that these important activities won't get neglected during the heat of the project. It also gives the project manager a chance to allocate time in the schedule and include any required funds in the approved project budget.

How to use it

During the Planning phase, plan ahead for rewards, recognition, and team-building "Hoopla" activities. Set expectations and allocate time in the schedule. Even small or part-time projects can and should use these standard tools to reward and recognize the team.

As the team works together early on, start getting to know your team members well enough to predict what kinds of rewards and recognition will be most meaningful and enjoyable.

To determine how much you can spend and what approvals are necessary, see the Project Sponsor and get money allocated in the budget.

Consider the following as elements of the project's rewards and recognition:

  • Plan for "hoopla" during the project to build team spirit. See page 2 for a definition of hoopla and ideas for creating it.
  • Plan for celebratory events at major milestones, like the Phase 2 exit, passing of chicken tests, release to Alpha.
  • When planning any team outings: Since it is sometimes hard to find an activity or food that everyone likes, plan lots of different outings to hit everyone's tastes.
  • Plan ways to reward individuals for outstanding contributions. Plan ways to recognize the teams' and individual's accomplishments by making the rest of the company aware of them.
  • Recognize the accomplishments of the team as a whole, not just individuals. Plan rewards, recognition, team building, and celebrations for the entire group.

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Related Templates
Brainstorming Meeting Techniques
Ideas for running a meeting to brainstorm rewards activities (or anything else).

"Sweet" Teambuilding Suggestion
One manager's experiment in Management By Walking Around. Includes an analysis of costs and rewards.

Communication Plan
Make sure team activities and accomplishments are included in project communication.

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