“Shout-out” Shoebox – Boosting Team Morale

I mentioned this idea at the agile conference and have had several emails about it over the last week asking for the details of how this works.  So, I thought it would just be easiest to post it here.

Celebrating accomplishments is something I am pretty passionate about on teams.  On a recent project, we implemented the “Shout-out” Shoebox.  I took an old shoebox and decorated it.  Then, I just cut a slit in the top of lid so people could put there shout-outs in the box.  The box is open to the entire team during the course of the sprint.  Anytime a team member wants to give a “shout-out” to another team member, they can write it on a card and put it in the box.  They can range from someone helping you with a difficult task, someone going above and beyond the call of duty, etc.  If you have distributed team members, encourage them to email their shout-outs to your Scrum Master who can then put them in the box as well.

I would then recommend that at the end of your demo, someone from the team gets up and reads all of the cards out of the box.  This is even better if you have “chickens” or other stakeholders at your demo. That way, folks on your team are getting public recognition for their work in front of a larger audience.   You can also include small give-aways for folks, too.

This is a no-cost, very quick and easy thing to implement that can help bring teams together and boost morale. 

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