One of our company leaders had a great idea. Our hallways and walls were utterly uninspiring: mindless motivational posters and a few Ansel Adams images mishmoshed with an assortment of oddball paintings from long-gone employees.
What if we had a contest to update our surroundings? Something personal that was engaging and reinforced our culture of multi-faceted creativity? A photo contest. With employees submitting their best homemade photographs to compete for the prize – having their winning image blown up to poster size and tastefully framed and displayed in a public area.
What a response! People came out of the woodworks with all sorts of fantastic images. We kicked off the contest in December and the winners were announced at the company holiday party. There was such a groundswell response we ran the contest multiple times throughout the following year. We introduced different themes such as “nature”, “structures”, “people”. Winning entries were mounted in real frames (no cheap plastic) and each picture was accompanied with a professionally engraved placard with the artist’s name and a description of the photo. Each round of our company photo contest produced fresh enthusiasm. The office landscape gradually transformed into a visual gallery of personally relevant images. It became a source of pride in the office. People of course liked showing off their winning photos, but throughout the company people enjoyed viewing each others’ work, gaining glimpses of life and interests outside the office.
The best part was a winning image needn’t be produced by an experienced photographer, although we had some of those which did in fact win. Just about everyone has a favorite photo from a vacation trip, or a lucky shot from a weekend outing, and many of these were submitted and successfully found their way to framed glory.
Watch what happens when the walls of your office get covered with things that everyone cares about.