Create Tokens that Align with Your Values

Jean-Denis Grezè has seen time and time again that small gestures can have an outsized impact. “I’m a big believer in incentives that align with the culture and values. A funny one that people don’t realize can be super helpful is creating tokens — objects that you reward for a specific behavior,” he says. “You can create a subculture around a new value. Humans — we love an object, we love a token.”

He pulls an example from a past team. “We had a model of the rocket ship from the Tintin cartoon. It’s this cool 1920’s or 30’s vision of a future spaceship, with a red-and-white checkered pattern. Every two weeks in our managers meeting, we’d share two highlights and two lowlights. Then we’d all vote and give that spaceship to the team that had the most impact,” he says. “There was a ton of pride in being awarded that spaceship as a team, and oddly enough, the spaceship took on a life of its own as a token. When a team was going to launch a new feature, they’d try to make a splash and drive impact so they could receive the spaceship,” says Grezè.

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