Teams want to have fun as much as they want to be recognized for work. Awards are a great way to have both at the same time!
Superlatives, awards, or shout-outs, whatever you want to call them, can be a great force for getting your team to celebrate each other in an entertaining way.
Here are 30 great employee award ideas for distributed teams.
30 Funny Office Award Ideas
- Roger Ebert Award 🎥 – Gives the best movie recommendations
- Gif Master Award 🖼 – Has the best gif responses in Slack
- Best Zoom Setup Award 🎙 – Has the highest quality camera and microphone, they look great!
- Gordon Ramsay Award 👨🍳👩🍳 – Most likely to have a lunch you want to try
- Mr. or Mrs. Worldwide Award 🌐 – Is replying to messages at times you don’t expect them to
- The Sipper Award ☕ – Most likely to be drinking something during a meeting
- Office Clown Award 🤡 – Person who cracks the team up the most
- Team Scribe Award 📝 – The best meeting note taker
- Best Communicator Award 🗣 – Leaves the best notes and instructions
- Early Bird Award 🕐 – Most likely to be the first in a Zoom call
- Best Zoom Background Award 🔍 – Has the best Zoom backgrounds
- Energizer Bunny Award 🐰 – Always brings the energy level up in a group
- Icebreaker Award 🧊 – Most likely to start a debate
- Big Muncher Award 🍟 – Most likely to be snacking during a meeting
- Best Interior Decoration – Has the most magazine worthy office
- The Office DJ 🎶 – Makes amazing music recommendations
- Event Planner Award 🎈 – Has a hand in planning team activities
- The Herder Award 🐑 – Always organizing random thoughts into a cohesive plan
- Customer First Award 🥇 – Always thinking about how the customers will think
- On Fleek Award 👗 – Best dressed
- Technical difficulties Award ❌ – Most likely to have issues during a call
- The True Nomad Award ✈ – Always joining meetings from different environments
- Cutest Pet Award 🐕 – Has the cutest pets in their zoom calls
- Cutest Kids Award 👶 – Has the cutest kids in their zoom calls
- Photographer Award 📷 – Takes and shares the best photos
- Anchorperson Award 📰 – Always sharing topical news
- Geeksquad Award 🔧 – Most likely to fix your technical issues
- Mr. Mrs. Wikipedia 🧠 – Always has factoids or new knowledge to share
- The Book Club 📚 – Makes the best book recommendations
- Green Thumb Award 🌱 – Has the most plants in their workspace
How to have a great staff awards show
Awards are great if they’re done right. We all want to avoid having a boring ceremony, and worst yet, we want to avoid having anyone miffed at an award or a snub.
Here are some things to consider when planning your awards ceremony to ensure everyone has fun.
Use specific categories
No one likes vague awards, make sure that everyone knows who they’re voting for in each category. If it’s not something someone can action on, it’s not specific enough.
Getting everyone chipping into award ideas or voting for awards is the best way to get the award ceremony you’re after.
Send out a google form with the list of awards and ask people to nominate and vote for winners.
Have a good variety
Mix up silly awards with meaningful awards to keep things novel and light. Make sure everyone has a category that is relevant to them as a person or their role in the team.
Encourage positive actions
While it might be tempting to give awards for messiest workspace and things like that, it’s much more beneficial to have awards that call out positive behaviors in teams.
Adjust ideas to your culture
The ideas we’ve shared are just a starting point, take, leave, and shape awards to best reflect your company culture and values.
Keep it light
These awards should be optimized towards fun, recognition awards shouldn’t impact compensation or other more high stakes work factors.
Remote employee rewards
Trophies are a little harder to hand out to a distributed team, consider sending rewards that reflect the nature of that award.
Gift cards are always a great way to reflect the award, someone that wins the news award could get a free subscription to the New York Times, for example.
If you want to keep costs down, create graphic badges that they can apply to their profile picture.
If your team works in Slack, you can add Banter to Slack, which breaks the ice to start group conversations and helps employees recognize each other in fun ways.