Appreciate Your People!
As any manager or small business owner like myself knows, it’s really important to make sure the hired help know they’re appreciated — a happy team is a productive team! And time is money. In that spirit, this week I thought it would be nice to honor my 3 part time studio helpers with special recognition.
I decided that nothing conveys a sense of dignity, respect, and value like a paper certificate that can be framed and hung on the wall alongside family photos. With tips from my brother’s skilled management style, and bits & pieces of expertise gleaned from my designer friends, I made this.
The sloppy graphics, poor print quality, and tediously long, Mad Libs-derived text are designed to communicate corporate indifference; laziness; nostalgia; and yes, “you’re special”. I think it’s pretty successful! Printed at home, it’s a simple–yet hopefully effective–tool to inspire them to keep working hard for years to come while I come and go as I please.
Yesterday at our Helper Appreciation Luncheon, nouns & verbs were flung around the table at a local cafe as they filled out each other’s certificates (I couldn’t be bothered to come up with nice things to say about all 3 of them). It was delightful. There were even a few unexpected outcomes (in addition to the obvious gratitude for both the recognition and the free lunch):
- Read aloud by a co-worker, the certificates made little sense from a grammatical standpoint but had a weirdly satisfying slam poetry feel
- Butts and farts have incredible staying power! The vast bodily functions repertoire used in every manner of sentence building continues to impart riotous Mad Libs hilarity… just like when we were kids!
In the spirit of generosity, I’ve made this certificate (low resolution) available for download> (use pdf editor to change the name(s) at the bottom, or just scratch those out and write your own). You’re welcome, and thanks for reading!
TIP: A little gold paint on the seal goes a long way toward making the certificate feel extra-precious and authentic.
Oh my goodness, I miss your humor and our laughs so much! We have to meet for lunch one of these days for catchup time. Call me when you can.
Thank you Phyllis! This one def brought back Little Vipers memories as I was writing it! I don’t think I have your # but I’ll try FB when I have a chance ❤
Ooooh, you’re a UFO!
haha! That’s a new one for me John, but I’ll take it! I hope you and your menagerie are well ❤️
Bumbledore — UFO, it’s in your job title on the Certificate 🙂
Ah! See there! Too busy (and important) to even keep track of my own titles. UnFettered Optimist! or just UFO… :))
Love this! Cannot wait to use with my team . They will love and appreciate this so much more than money!
Yes that’s what I thought! Everyone has plenty of money so who cares about that. This is also something they can probably bolster a resume with (when the time comes)
hilarious! nothing conveys appreciation like a heartfelt MadLibs certificate. Hope you’re selling them!!!
Well, if demand justifies it, I’ll charge at least $5 ea!
Thanks so much for this, Laura! I like this idea so much I’m just going to print a few out and let my workers fill ’em in themselves. No effort or expense on my behalf and they get to feel special with the posh certificate and gold trim. It’s a win win.
Excellent! You’ve already “saved” by not doing this over lunch, even at the cheapest bodega (even tho the food stains & occasional scratch-outs added value). And sorry, you’ll discover when you print ’em that you’re meant to add the gold to the seal yourself (or make them do it). If they can capture a cat hair like I did, all the better! Thanks for reading.