Busy Season Stress Busters Part Three!

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Here are some more great ideas from the members of AccountingWEB.com – Part Three

  1. April Fools Gags! A mid-sized firm I worked for sent out an e-mail memo from the Managing Partner informing everyone to respond immediately to the attached memo. The memo notified employees that effective the following Monday, all parking spaces in the employee parking lot would to be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The memo asked employees to respond immediately to the memo in order to reserve their desired parking spot. Many employees fell for the prank and some were so upset (for a few moments) because they said that they got to work early and may not have a front row parking spot because they didn't respond to the e-mail immediately because they were out of the office when the memo came through. It was funny and we all got a laugh from it! Another April Fools Gag Idea - Ask employees to put (post-it) note nametags on their personal belongings for the day. Tell them that you are doing an inventory count of company supplies and need to know what is not company property. This is a great idea because you will be able to see who fell for the joke - it's there struck all over their desks!
  2. We have auctions each Friday at 4pm (Feb - April). Throughout the week, associates earn 'Fun Bucks' (FB) that they use that Friday to bid on prizes. A director acts as auctioneer, and associates earn FB from managers and directors throughout the week by staying late, working on a tough project, etc. The director or auctioneer will spend 15 minutes on trivia or games so associates can earn more FB. It's a great opportunity for the associates to see the 'fun' side of directors. The prizes range from board games to gift certificates (we try to use our clients whenever possible).
  3. Our admin staff brings in a picnic lunch for the entire staff. Their spouses come along and grill the food. If the weather's nice, you can set up a grill outside on an afternoon and fill it with hot dogs and burgers - it's always nice to let the staff see a glimpse of daylight this time of year!
  4. We put the partners heads on turkey clipart and affixed them to jars... then placed them in the lobby and asked the staff to put money in to vote for the biggest turkey. We raised hundreds of dollars for the local food bank... and people were so excited about the contest they were throwing $20 in at a time.
  5. Our firm also provides food in abundance, and one of the employees prepares dinner each Wednesday night. Chocolate Chip cookies are the most popular. And here's what they did to counter the effect of all that food…an end of tax season diet challenge. Each employee has his picture taken and a weigh-in took place, along with a $10.00 contribution from each participant. The pictures were hung in the kitchen, and the winner got 70% of the pot; runner up 30%.
  6. Here's a suggestion for keeping up the energy levels during the spring months - encourage people to take an exercise break each afternoon. One way to make this happen is to send around an office-wide e-mail message each afternoon, say at 3:00, with an "exercise of the day"
  7. We have tax season buddies. Everyone has a secret buddy that you leave notes, small toys, candy, etc. for. It's been fun. I've had my desk filled with balloons, flowers, and unsigned cards.
  8. We have birthday cake once a month for all that month's birthdays- the first Wed of the month at 3:00. Cakes are nice, even if there is no occasion.
  9. Pass around a word search or a crossword each afternoon for a quick break. There are services that will come to your parking lot and perform oil changes - this is something the firm could sign up for on a nice day, if everyone parks in the same lot.
  10. We give away logo trinkets (mugs, pens, etc.). We stocked the mugs with cup-of-soup, hot chocolate, crackers and candy. Renting a popcorn machine is not expensive and very fun - except that someone has to pop it all day.

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