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How to Gather and Give Kudos in 2024

November 1, 2021
6 Min Read
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Ahmet Özcan

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We all know how important it is to give Kudos. We've heard how giving praise can motivate employees, how important quality circles were in Toyota's development, how peer-to-peer recognition has been shown to increase productivity, how Kudos gives people more energy, and so on.

But knowing how good something is doesn't always translate into an ability to do it. If you aren't an expert on peer-to-peer recognition (but want to be), this article is for you. Here's what you may find surprising: it won't take much to convert your fault-finding, criticism-ready team into a group of people with praise and congratulation always on their tongues. Workplace culture conversion is real, and it starts with you!

How to gather and give Kudos

Gathering Kudos is easy: if you make a practice of giving Kudos, you'll find people appreciate you without you asking them to and the Kudos will start coming in. The trick, then, is to begin with giving. 

You can introduce Kudos in your workplace by bringing in a deck of kudo cards for the whole team to use. These are simple cards with a short pre-defined text: for instance, words like "Thank you!" "Awesome" and "Amazing Job". These cards are available to everyone, but you'll want to use them too. When you see someone do something Kudos-worthy, grab an appropriate card, scribble a brief but meaningful message, and you're in business.

Some teams gather kudo cards in a decorated shoebox, then empty it together at set intervals, read the Kudos aloud, and deliver them to their intended recipients. Others give Kudos on a rolling basis, tacking them on bulletin boards or cubicle sides. You can ask each team member to send a minimum of seven kudo cards a week, or make it three a day if there's enough going on to celebrate! Funny penalties for a failure to make the limit, or a reward/incentives for those who do. It can jumpstart your Kudos program if just telling them is not enough for your group.

Of course, Kudos doesn't have to be limited to paper and pen. They can be posted on social media, sent by email, included in a team chat, or given and gathered with the help of Kudos employee recognition tools. Kudos software can help you build morale and online community even when your workforce is spread far apart, so it's definitely worth the trouble of implementation! We'll have more on that soon. 

5 strategies for how to gather and give Kudos

If you're having a hard time getting started, here are a few strategies how gathering and giving Kudos can work for you:

1. Praise often

Start with each person on your team, praising them frequently for their great work. The more you give praise, the more comfortable it becomes, and after a while giving out Kudos will become almost second nature. If it's hard to start, begin with anonymous Kudos notes!

2. Encourage peer to peer Kudos

Encourage peer-to-peer Kudos among your teammates, and spend some time at the next team meeting sharing how it can help you all be better at what you do. It won't be long before your whole team is kudo'ing like pros!

3. Keep feedback honest and sincere

Don't gather and give Kudos just to gather them - gather and give praise when it is deserved. Keep tabs on what Kudos are being passed around the office, and make sure that the person who gives feedback knows what they're talking about, too!

4. Ask for input

Ask people on your staff how to gather or give Kudos in a way that works best for all of you. Don't gather or give Kudos in a way that might alienate others, but gather and give them in ways that are appropriate for your team.

5. Don't gather and give Kudos in an "empty" way. 

Gathering and giving Kudos is important, so don't gather and give them in an "empty" way- make all your feedback meaningful and real. This doesn't mean you have to limit your praise to a major achievement or only compliment big successes. Hard work is Kudos-worthy, too!

How to gather and give Kudos in your digital workplace

If your company has transitioned to a remote or partly remote workplace, collecting colorful cards in shoeboxes isn't really an option. No worries though, gathering and giving Kudos in a digital workplace is actually even easier than implementing the practice in a brick and mortar office! 

First off, choose what employee recognition software you want to use! If you're on Slack, you want to use Matter an easy-to-implement app that is free to try. This app makes it easy to send Kudos with templates that function exactly like kudo cards. Give a thank you, celebrate an amazing job well done, or congratulate your colleague on his or her stellar teamwork. These Kudos can be given publicly to show up on everyone's wall, or privately, so only the recipient sees them. 

If keeping track of your team's feedback history is important to you, you'll want to go with Matter's paid plan, which also gives you access to more templates. Otherwise, the free option may be all that you need! Extra bonus: the Matter platform lets you take it beyond Kudos and send constructive feedback to your team as well. 

More ideas on how to gather and give Kudos

Of course, the workplace is not the only place you can gather and give Kudos! Bring your new kudo-habit with you wherever you go, at home, school, or when you're out and about in town!

  • Gather & give Kudos to your partner or children
  • Gather & give Kudos to your extended family or neighbor
  • Gather & give Kudos to your community members
  • Gather & give Kudos in your classroom or at work
  • Gather & give Kudos on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

You can even give Kudos when you're at the supermarket, that over-tired sales clerk could probably use a little Kudos in her life, and she's certainly doing a great job bagging your vegetables. It's an idea worth trying! 

Once you've started you'll find so many ways to gather and give Kudos. Remember, you're not limited to any one appreciation method, the sky's the limit! Have fun giving out Kudos and you'll find you have plenty to gather everywhere you turn.

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