The other articles in this chapter focused on promoting company-wide efforts to fulfill the goal of being a responsible and active corporate citizen. Clearly, there is room for individual contributions as well. In addition to the positive benefits that these individual efforts provide, they can also act as motivators for others to become involved in activities of their own choosing. Publicly recognizing these efforts is an excellent method of encouraging others to follow suit.
A simple and yet highly effective method of encouraging individuals to share their community support activities to implement an easy, no pressure contest. Unlike children’s sporting events, this is one case where participation trophies given to everyone is appropriate. The process is simple: Ask anyone who participates in any volunteer function to write their name of a piece of paper and a one sentence maximum description of the activity. Ask someone to collect and save the inputs. Based on the number of entrants, once a month or once a quarter, bring everyone together and read each “entry” and recognize everyone. The simple company-wide acknowledgment becomes the participation trophy. Next, randomly select one entry and award the entrant with a thank you gift. A prepaid gift card for $200.00 for a “night on the town” or something similar would be an appropriate gift. The amount is not important; the recognition in front of their peers is. By selecting the person randomly, no value judgments are placed on the activities entered or the selection made.
Aside from the recognition and reward given to the selected individual, a program like this will also benefit the entire company. Individuals will see another side of others who are participating in these activities and it gives an opportunity for all employees to spend a few minutes together on non-company business. It reminds everyone that their fellow employees are people too!