My team recently got a handwritten thank you note from one of our community members. The note was extremely nice, unexpected, and made us feel good. That's the power of saying thank you. For both the giver and receiver, sharing appreciation creates an emotional connection that is gratifying and humanizing. And to be honest, with today's high-paced work environments, polarizing politics, and natural disasters, we could use a lot more thankfulness in our world.
Saying thank you is one of the keys to building trust on a team. Recognizing accomplishments is an important aspect of keeping people motivated. Rewarding positive teamwork behaviors is critical if you're bringing a development team and an operations team together to practice DevOps.
As I started thinking about this topic, I reached out to the Opensource.com DevOps Team and asked for their thoughts and feedback on good ways they've seen teams rewarded and recognized. Our conversation mentioned salary, compensation, bonuses, and other financial rewards, but we quickly moved on to other ways to recognize the efforts of the entire team. And that's what I'd like to focus on: recognizing team effort.
Following are five ways you can recognize the performance of an entire team.
Give them time off
Celebrate with food
People love to eat. Say thank you by taking your team out for lunch, ice cream, or happy hour. Maybe you're in the middle of a tough sprint? Cater lunch for the team—and not just pizza; we can get that from all those after-hours meetups we attend. Celebrating something big? How about a fancy dinner on the company's dime!
Pro-tip: You can also celebrate new hires and birthdays with cards and cake. This can do wonders for team building.
Take the team out
Do a team-building activity and say thank you with some fun. Popular choices include sporting events, escape rooms, go-karts, arcades, cooking classes, scavenger hunts, movies, amusement parks, family picnics, or even a team retreat. The possibilities are endless.
Send them to a conference
People really enjoy attending conferences. Providing the networking, content, and social benefits of a good conference can be a great way to say thanks.
Make special swag
Teams that are proud of their work usually want to wear their pride, literally. Make custom jackets, shirts, backpacks, hats, coins, stickers, etc. Don't forget to follow any brand guidelines your organization has. Your team will love to sport some new swag.
This list wouldn't be possible without the contributions of Dan Barker, Anne Marie Fred, Jen Krieger, and Chris Short who shared their ideas with me. For that, and all the other ways you contribute to our work at Opensource.com, I thank you.
Do you have other ideas about how to thank your team? Or do you want to share something your team has done to celebrate? Please let us know in the comments.