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Matt Markowiak - August 22, 2018

Gamifying Employee Recognition

POPs Banner

If you’ve ever worked in an ad or marketing agency you know how easy it is to be pulled in a lot of different directions. A typical day for me includes multiple different client demands, internal projects, researching, training, reading about new videogames – you name it and I try to fit it into my full calendar.

Unfortunately, in most work places, a similarly busy schedule full of project work leaves little time for giving your coworkers a much-needed pat on the back when they do something awesome. So, what do Thrillworkers do when we want to thank someone? We POP them.

POP aka People Over Projects

Handing out POPs is our way as a company of recognizing all that we do for each other throughout the week to make sure we get projects out the door.

Did Tim use his HTML animation skills to do something really cool on a page? POP him!

That’s the magic of POPs. They allow me (and other Thrillworkers) to thank one another for all of the great things we do as a team.

Did Marissa take a quick fly-in request from a client, re-shuffle her priorities, and get a beautifully designed banner done in an hour? POP her!

Did Dean create a back-end database that was integral to an online contest running smoothly and securely? POP him! (Because nobody ever sees the work a back-end developer does so it’s extra important to give them a pat on the back.)

Dean, you complete me
Show me the money! (Because quoting Jerry McGuire is becoming a theme in this blog.)

POPs not only give someone the warm-and-fuzzies for getting acknowledged, they also serve as an entry into fabulous prize draws!

Weekly prizes

Whenever you hand out a POP you write your name and the POP recipients name in a binder. Then, during our weekly staff meeting we do a draw out of everyone that received a POP that week.

There are two prizes up for grabs:

  1. A car wash card that grants the cardholder a free car wash every day for a week
  2. A $10 TimCard

So, the POPee gets a chance to win a fabulous prize each and every week. What does the POPper get? Well, I’m glad you asked!


At the end of each month, we take the entire month’s list of POPs and do another random draw – this time to hand out prizes to the people that are giving out the POPs.

The monthly POP prizes include:

  1. $50 gift card of your choice
  2. A Loot Crate box from the Thrillworks subscription
  3. Two movie passes.
Tim, you complete me

Win 1: So, the person that receives a POP gets the satisfaction that their hard work was recognized by a peer!

Win 2: Then, that same person gets a chance to win a prize at the end of the week!!

Win 3: At the end of the month, the people that hand out a POP get a chance to win an even bigger and better prize!!!

Somehow we’ve gamified employee recognition in a way that feels like us.

2018employee recognitiongamifying

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