I'm looking for suggestions for ways to recognize/reward/show appreciation for my employees without spending [b]any[/b] money. The purse-holders here will not allocate [i]any[/i] funding for this kind of thing.
I'm the "chair" of our Morale and Recognition Committee. We even have a special recognition "week" set aside nationally for our profession (National Public Safety Telecommunications Week) and my boss and co-workers expect me to come up with a week long recognition of this event every year and get media coverage for it, and then 6 months later have a special recognition day just for our employees (not including the management staff). All without any funding.
In the past, I've printed up "fun" recognition certificates for certain "accomplishments", made up booklets of funny work-related stories, I print up work-related word-search games, that kind of thing. The past three years, we've had enough "stuff" to make up "goody bags" of freebies (promotional items other companies have sent us), but that well has dried up, and this past years goody bags were pretty lame, in my opinion (I spent about $70 of my own money buying stuff to pad them out). And our supervisors usually provide a meal or two for their shifts during the week, and sometimes purchase or make small gifts for everyone on their shifts. We've also tried theme-days such as hat day and blue-shirt day.
My department won't allow fundraising, won't allow soliciting donations. We did that once and got a bunch of great stuff, but we all hated doing it and felt like we were abusing our relationship with the citizens ("Give us free stuff or you might not get help when you call 9-1-1" - that would never happen, but that's what it felt like we doing).
My department won't hang anything on the walls (certifcates of recogntition, awards, etc).
And the media isn't usually interested in covering us "just because" (although we do have a pretty good relationship with the media).