National Inspirational Role Models Month

Ask employees to vote for the fellow employee that they think is an inspirational role model and why.  Spotlight the employee(s) who get the most votes.  You could spotlight just one, or feature a different employee every week.  Get an Inspirational Role Model plaque done up with the employee’s name and picture on it to hang in the office.  Also, place anonymous comments about why people voted for these employees on the plaque.

Cliché Day

Treat employees to a number of rewards today, all of which center around clichés.  Then, play “spot the cliché” with your employees.  At the end of the day, have everyone email what clichés they were rewarded with throughout the day.  Award a prize to the person who identifies the most clichés correctly.  Or, if more than one person identifies all of them, put all of those employees in a drawing for the prize.  Examples of cliché-based rewards you could feature include:

  • “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – Place an apple on everyone’s desk.
  • “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” – Give everyone a bottle of water, or place personalized water glasses by the water cooler for all employees.
  • “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” – Treat everyone to a Jell-o pudding cup as a mid-afternoon snack.
  • “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” – Give everyone a puzzle to solve, such as those you find on the tables at Cracker Barrel.
  • “Better late than never” – Provide everyone with a card that can be redeemed for being a half-hour late to work one morning without getting in trouble.
  • “A penny saved is a penny earned” – Place a jar of pennies in the break room.  Ask employees to register a guess as to how many pennies are in the jar.  Award a prize to the employee who comes closest to the actual number without going over.

Veterans Day

  1. Allow employees who chip in a $5 or more cash donation to wear casual-dress camouflage to work today. Send all of the proceeds to the military charity of your choice.
  2. Conduct a Boot Camp-themed team building exercise.  Place employees on a team and give each team different colored dog tags for team identification.  Have teams rotate through a variety of challenges to earn points for their team.  Challenges could include:
  • Potato Peeling Relay – Teammates race to peel a bucket of potatoes. The team that peels the most in the allotted amount of time wins.
  • Obstacle Course – Teammates take turns running through tires, crawling through a barrel and vaulting over playground shapes. The best stopwatch time wins.
  • Mess Hall Relay – Teammates take turns running around obstacles while balancing a tray of food and water. The best stopwatch time wins.
  • Quick Change Relay – Teammates take turns putting on a helmet, backpack and army boots; racing to the other side; changing out of these items; and giving them to the next teammate waiting in line. The best stopwatch time wins.

National Family Week

Invite employees to bring photographs of their family (spouse and kids or parents) into work. Give each photograph a number and post them up on a display board. On a sheet of paper list your employees’ names down one side and the numbers of the photographs down the other.  Have each employee try to match the employee name to the correct photograph (have them draw an arrow from the employees’ names to the numbers on the sheet).  Gather everyone around the display board at the end of the week to reveal which is their families’ photograph.  The employee who matched the most correctly wins a prize.  If there is a tie, place all of the winners in a random prize drawing.


  1. Give every employee a wishbone with a number attached to it.  Draw numbers at random and invite the employees who hold these numbers to come up and pull their wishbone with the boss.  If the employee wins the pull, they get their wish granted by the boss.  Allow employees to choose from a select list of wishes, such as a) an extra day off with pay; b) get to come in one hour late, or leave one hour early every day for a week; or c) get to wear casual dress to the office for two weeks.
  2. This Thanksgiving take some time out to write a thank you letter to each of your employees telling them why you are thankful that they work for you.

Bruce Lee’s Birth Anniversary

Hire a martial arts expert to come in and teach a self-defense class to your employees.  You could make this a one-night, one-time only class.  Or, hold a more in-depth class that kicks off today, but that happens one night of the week for several weeks.

Rockefeller Center’s Christmas Tree Lighting

Send employees an ornament with their name on it.  Invite employees to hang their ornament on the company tree at a tree-lighting ceremony, taking place later that day.  Ask employees to hang their ornament anywhere on the tree that they wish.  At a set time, turn on the lights on the tree.  The employee, whose ornament is hanging closest to the blinking light on the tree – all other lights do not blink – wins the present underneath the tree.

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