Want to recognize your team? 5 Tips for creating your own FROG Board!

image of a FROG Board used to recognize employeesThis just in from a rockstar manager: “After the conference, I created a frog board in my warehouse and it’s been really great for laughs and smiles and team morale! I can’t wait until it’s so full we can’t fit another frog.”

One of the best parts of our work is hearing how people take the concept of recognition, and specifically FROG – Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness™️ – and run with it. Here’s a great example of how Joanne with ANBL makes daily recognition part of her warehouse staff’s culture. And given the staffing shortages we’re having, think about how strategic Joanne was to do this proactively. Not only so she could hold onto her staff, but she could also keep them engaged in their work and connected to each other.

If you’re interested in implementing a FROG board in your workplace, here are some simple strategies to keep the recognition momentum going.

image of kudoboard websiteMake it Visible

The placement of your board is key to its success. If no one can see it, few will participate in it. Find a space that is visible and easily accessible to everyone on your team or throughout your organization. Pick a spot where everyone typically walks past throughout their work day. Create a fun, colourful, visually appealing board that grabs your attention as you walk past. If your team is working remotely or is hybrid, consider creating a board on your internal systems, or you can use a site like Kudoboard.

 Image of FROG kudos cards created by Greatness MagnifiedMake it Easy

Make it easy for anybody to get involved. Sometimes, no matter how well-intentioned, recognition programs require too much time, too many steps or too much follow-up for them to be sustainable, effective or efficient. You want something that allows people to recognize it organically and swiftly. Put your board in a public, easily accessible space. Have sticky notes or kudos cards beside them with a stack of pens and pins next to them. That way, whenever someone sees or experiences something they want to acknowledge, they can quickly write it down and pin it up in less than a minute. The easier it is to participate, the more sustainable it will be.

Make it Fun

“The one thing you forgot to mention was that recognition needs to be fun,” entrepreneur Frank Collette shared after my keynote for the America Spice Trade Association last month. Good point Frank! Recognition should be fun! Trying to get people to participate in a recognition program shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth. If it does, they don’t connect with the approach. When designing a recognition board, for example, consider creating a theme that aligns with your organization, strategic goals or company culture. If your workplace enjoys some friendly competition, issue a challenge. A client recently shared that different teams created their own frog board and set a deadline to see who can fill their board up the fastest. Once the challenge was over, they found, the recognition continued; peer-to-peer recognition was so enjoyable, that it became an easy, enjoyable and ongoing workplace exchange.

Make it Novel

Try something unique that has never been done before. Make it special and personal to your organization. Whether that be through a theme, gamification, or celebrations, ensure that everyone is included, invested and excited about your recognition initiative. I have a client that has a recognition event every quarter, and it always has a new theme; they collect peer-to-peer recognition between events and fun in a wacky way aligned to the theme to share it. People say it’s the two hours they look forward to the most every quarter, and yes, it’s 100% virtual!

Screenshot of a slide from a virtual presentation by Sarah McVanel that reads "what are you already doing thats working?"Make it Everyone’s Job

Recognition is not only the leader’s job – it should come from everyone at all levels of the organization. Talk about recognition with your colleagues and staff, and how it can make work more satisfying for everyone. Invite them to be a part of it. Joanne did that and take a look at her success in this picture. Megan and Chantal had similar success. They put up kudos boards down the hallways of their recreation center, and not only encouraged staff to add kudos, but they also invited members of the public to do so too. As the compliments flourished, interest grew, new ideas were generated, and other organizations in town decided to replicate the experience by having FROG boards in their own workplaces. Create a culture of recognition so juicy that no one wants to miss out!

These five lessons can be adapted by any workplace anytime. What will you do next to keep amping up appreciation like Joanne?

Looking for more FROG ideas? Here are some great resources:Image of the course thumbnail for the course "retain top talent" by Sarah McVanel

P.S. – If you’re needing a way deeper dive, we’ve got you covered! Here’s our program that helps examine, reimagine, and relaunch a recognition approaching your team or organization that’s guaranteed to retain your people (literally guaranteed…we reimburse anyone who isn’t delighted with the results!)

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Deb Rakonjac

Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

"Sarah nailed it!  She worked with the planning group to learn about the organization, the audience, the desired key messages and integrated it seamlessly into her keynote. Her energy was contagious! We received rave reviews of this portion of our event and Sarah was able to speak to all members of our organization in a way that motivated them to recognize others everyday. Our executives were extraordinarily pleased and integrated FROGging into their recent board meeting. Purolator is grateful to Sarah for dropping the pebble and we continue to see the ripples from this session across the organization. Working with Tami was phenomenal and the supports were easy to integrate to ensure the session went well. Thanks to you both!!"
Douglas D Swift

President & CEO, Swiftco Inc.

"I have had the Sarah experience in numerous settings: As a keynote, around a table with several other business owners, one on one over coffee, chatting with others at a conference reception, dining with a small group of colleagues. No matter the setting you always get the same Sarah: engaging, attentive, interested, inspiring, motivational, genuine. And always with an infectious smile. Do yourself, your company, your association a favour. Get the Greatness Magnified (Sarah) experience. The payback is priceless."
Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve