Know you should, but not inspired?

In Pulse Surveys, Recognition and Engagement by Lori McKnight

Know you should, but lack the inspiration?

Summer is the perfect time to say thanks in words, deeds and ice cream

Before writing this post, I reached out to a few friends and clients asking if they do anything special to recognize their people and business partners over the summer.

A few common events were mentioned:

  • BBQ lunches
  • Team outings to a ball game
  • Nine and dine golf tourneys
  • Axe throwing competitions
  • Lobster Boils
  • Distillery tours and

…most popular of all “the summer Friday”.

There were, however, 4 unique recognition events that “upped the office fun” quotient and could be just the inspiration you need to launch a new way to recognize your team’s hard work this summer.

1. You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream and that’s kind of the same thing.

An ice cream truck

Here comes the ice cream truck! Employees channel their inner childhood spirit when the ice cream truck pulls up in front of this insurance company.

Each summer this company thanks its partners and employees by hiring an “ice cream truck” and treating everyone to a cone.

“Surprisingly it’s not too $$…you just need to commit to buying a certain number of cones” 😊

2. Small personalized thank yous.

For many, the daily office pace slows down during the summer as colleagues, decision-makers and clients take a well-deserved vacation.

This welcome breather is a great time to share your team’s accomplishments with upper management.

Every summer this manager sends her leadership channel a recap email acknowledging her reps success and efforts over the past six months. This often prompts leaders to use their online recognition dashboard to email a personalized certificate to the individuals commending them on their contributions, a personal email or gift card to recognize remarkable efforts.

“I’ll be honest, in terms of boosting morale, it lies with the individual manager to support/provide. I feel I’m an ambassador for my clients – if the Retail team feels their efforts are respected, then they perform for my clients.”

3. Who’s “crushing it” in your office?

Crushing It Award The HR team at an organization in the senior living sector takes peer-to-peer thanks seriously with their monthly “Crushing It Award”. Each month one recipient receives the award who then nominates the next month’s winner.

He/she provides a nomination message with specifics about the personal and professional traits that make this nominee a worthy recipient. The messages are light-hearted, fun and always relate back to the organization’s core values. The SVP of HR and Communications shares these messages with the entire division.

4. There’s an app for that

Team outings are great but unless there’s a formal activity planned often employees stick close to their closest colleagues rather than intermingling with new hires and other team members.

American Outback & Events AdventuresEnter the Outback Team Building app by Canadian Outback Adventures. Engage your group with fun and competitive team building activities. Whether you’re racing around the city unlocking clues, problem solving, or reinforcing learning from your own event, each activity in this app has been designed to fit the occasion.

Download the smartphone app and solve challenges with text, trivia, photo, video GPS or QR codes. As you progress through the activities, you’ll work your way up the leaderboard with results streamed live through your mobile device and social media.

How do you thank employees for sticking with you?

Many CSI STARS clients ask us to design their own fun employee appreciation stickers with their branding and values. Employees place their stickers on water bottles, journals, lunch boxes, laptops, etc. The stickers come with a “Thanks for sticking with us” envelope and have become a popular Service Award add-on, showcasing employees many years of experience with the company.


How do you recognize employees over the summer? We’d love to hear! Take the poll for a chance to win!

A personalized business journal with your very own initials

Take the poll or post an idea on (@stars_csi). We’ll enter your name in a draw for a personalized business journal with your very own initials!

Our way of saying “thanks” for helping us with our goal of recognizing and inspiring the world’s workforce!

Know you need to recognize more, but not sure where to start? Contact us and your local CSI STARS recognition expert can get you started!

Author: Lori McKnight

Lori McKnight
Lori is the VP of Recognition for CSI International Inc. She has a MBA with a minor in Human Resources, is a Certified Recognition Professional and member of the SHRM blog squad. Prior to joining CSI STARS, she worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Youthography, a youth market research agency. Connect with CSI STARS on LinkedIn to learn how we cultivate a workforce that loves coming to work.