3 tips to boost staff recognition programs
Peer recognition is probably the most rewarding and most essential way to reinforce excellence. Often traditional recognition models may have been developed to do so, but they sink in it's own heavy weight. The practise of allowing people to nominate someone for a quarterly award just didn't catch on. Instead of having a heavyweight program, we introduced a lightweight 'Kudos' model which constantly reinforces great work and awesome behaviours without needing explicit direction or acknowledgement from the top. Something to consider it to simplify the process to boost peer to peer recognition.
What works well? 3 tips:
1. Simple Recognising should be a one-click process. We’ve set up a simple workflow via our issue tracker. ‘Kudos’ requests are submitted there, will send an automated email to HR who arrange the recommended gift (<$50)
2. Both virtual and 'physical'
Some systems allow you to give badges and praise online, great tools in giving praise. But where is the human? I like the physical component.
- Personalised Gift: Once HR receives the kudos request, they will ensure that the requested tailored gift is purchased. We've had people awarding threadless t-shirts, movie vouchers, massage vouchers and more.
- handwritten ‘Kudos-card: The final part of the kudos workflow the person collects the gift from HR, writes a handwritten note on a kudus card and puts it on the person's desk. I love how the office is littered with kudos cards that people proudly display on their desks.
- Closing the loop virtually. A silent proof of the awarded praise remains online. The most recent 'kudoses' are displayed on the dashboard of our social collaboration platform. Also, receivers are being called out during our monthly all-staff meetings
3. No approval
So, any Atlassian can give their colleague ‘Kudos’ for a job well done without management approval. After initially enforcing a maximum of 4 'Kudosses' per person, we later removed that limit on the number to be given out. The transparency of the process makes it hard to 'abuse' the program anyway.
In an average week, an amasing 8% of all our employees are awarded a Kudos.