Once a month at Achievers, we have a lunch to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments called R&R (Rewards and Recognition). This lunch is a tradition: departments take turns hosting, and choose creative themes to go along with the awards ceremony. My department hosted recently, and we put a lot of work into organizing a ceremony that would include the entire company. We’ve hosted swanky awards ceremonies, game shows, reality television shows and lots of other creative themes during our lunches. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what the real highlight of the show is. Is it the awards themselves? Or is it the show put on by our colleagues?
You might be thinking, “I can see the value of recognizing hard work, but how does a creative theme support employee engagement or encourage dedication to excellent work?”
While it’s important to keep the focus of the lunch on rewards and recognitions, the effort and creativity that goes into hosting is incredibly valuable for our company culture. R&R encourages each department to step up, to rise to the challenge and to truly commit to an event that brings the entire company together. I would go so far as to say that the effort that we put into R&R helps us become more engaged in our workplace, and even produce better work.
How does it do that? Hosting the R&R lunch requires three important skill sets: teamwork, follow-through and, most importantly, creativity.
First, when my team hosted R&R we all had the chance to show talents that many of our colleagues never knew we had: video editing, writing, hosting and leadership were just some of the qualities that we don’t always get to use in our everyday jobs.
Next, since the lunch presentation was going to be live and in front of our colleagues, we had to make sure that we followed through and were fully prepared. We all pulled together and knew our roles so that the lunch went smoothly.
Finally, and most importantly, the lunch gave us the opportunity to think outside the box. The opportunity to be creative in the workplace is incredibly important: we were able to think imaginatively to bring something meaningful to our colleagues. Some of my colleagues’ creativity and skills have shone so brightly at R&R that they’ve actually been asked to move to new, exciting roles within the company. When we nurture that kind of creative thinking, we open the door for innovation and problem solving in other areas of our professional lives, too.
While your company doesn’t have to host lunches every month, providing opportunities for collaboration and creativity can be immensely beneficial for employee engagement and for professional development.
How do you try to incorporate creativity into your workplace? What are the events and opportunities that let your employees show off new creative skills?