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This is a humorous and light way to acknowledge people's contributions; build team spirit; help members feel appreciated; have fun . . .

Group Size


Create or obtain an object that will serve as a non-traditional trophy. Choose something with humor. It should be three-dimensional, not fragile, and small enough to fit on a desktop. Examples: a bowling trophy (as long as bowling is not part of the team's regular activities); a superhero toy; a model car; a vase of ugly artificial flowers; a mirror on a stand; an artistic sculpture; a (hardy) potted plant . . .

Set Up

Organize a system in which people nominate others for recognition for value to the team, e.g., a simple on-line or paper form; a suggestion box. Recognitions can be for any of a variety of contributions, large or small; specific or general; long-term or one-time. Examples are for exemplary teamwork; success in a specific project; overall good spirits; last-minute help; bringing refreshments to an event; telling a good joke . . .


Decide on a time-period (e.g., weekly or monthly). The organizing individual or committee reviews the nominations and picks one awardee. That person wins the trophy for that period of time; then it is passed to the next awardee. No one should be a repeat awardee until all members of the team have had a turn to be recognized.


With sincere appreciations as well as humor, the team can make a big deal of congratulating the awardee, admiring the trophy, and talking about its symbolism. Discussions can include how it feels to be both recognized and to appreciate others.


Nominations can be self-generated, so each person toots their own horn about their contributions. Each awardee can add something to the trophy- e.g., put a tiny hat/cape/flower on it; color part of it; write on it. Photograph each awardee posing with the trophy, and post a cumulative display. The awards can be given at a short (humorous) ceremony during a team gathering/meeting. Awardees could be asked to make a short speech.

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