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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 09, 2015 • Issue 15:03:01


Workplace Oscar party

Recently, I watched the Academy Awards — with a billion other people. Not literally, of course, but that's the number of people who typically watch the program on television. Like most people, I mostly watch the Oscars to root for my favorite films, actors, directors and screenwriters. But I also love the red carpet interviews, the jokes, the musical numbers, the poignant "in memoriam" section, in addition to the presentation of the big awards.

The Academy Awards broadcast is something that people tend to watch with others. Often these gatherings are called "Oscar parties." Some companies have Oscar parties, and this might includes an office pool in which employees make their predictions in the major categories. Last night as I watched, I started thinking about how something like the workplace Oscar party might be used to shore up worker morale, reward successful projects, and increase productivity in business.

And the winners are

Basically, the idea would be to get employees to nominate and vote on the most impressive job performances in their workplace over the past year. These, I suggest, would be the major categories:

  • Best Actor: Who worked the hardest in the office this past year? Who logged the most calls, sent the most emails? Who signed the most merchants? Who had the most productive ideas and suggestions in meetings? The Best Actor is the one who is most effective at getting results, on the ground and in the trenches.
  • Best Director: Who was the most accomplished project manager in the workplace in the past year? Who was the best at motivating workers, the most expert in wielding the carrot and the stick? Who struck the perfect balance between micro- and macro-management? The Best Director sets a direction and inspires workers to get on board.
  • Best Picture: Instead of awarding a particular workplace project, the Best Picture award would go to the individual that has the most compelling vision for the company, and who is able to articulate it with creativity and energy. He or she is the one who sees, without spectacles or squinting, the long-range "big picture" for the company. And it could be anyone in the company, not just those in management.
  • Best Humanitarian: The Academy Awards has the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The workplace equivalent would honor the person who is the best public representative of the company. This person excels at burnishing the public image of the company by associating it with charitable efforts and campaigns, and/or uses social media to communicate the social vision of the company. Like the Best Picture award, this could go to anyone, not just managers.

Friendly competition

Done well, a workplace Oscar party could award business success in a fun way. It would do more than just award the company "stars"; there would be awards for a wide range of actors in the company, from the telemarketing sales staff to the chief operating officer. Such a party might not have the glamour of the Academy Awards, but it would encourage the friendly competition and camaraderie that is necessary for the long-term success of any business. end of article

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